Rennes v Arsenal
The first of our Mar 7 Europa League betting tips is for Rennes v Arsenal. A busy midweek of European football continues on Thursday as punters turn their attentions to the Europa League. The Round of 16 ties get started at 5.55pm with each of the fixtures played out live on BT Sport. There are a few gems on the list, including Arsenal’s trip to Rennes where the Londoners will be looking to secure an advantage before returning to the Emirates.
Scoring an away goal is important in this format but we know there’s no lack of attacking flair in the away dressing room. Rennes must nullify that, while looking to grab a win they’ll then seek to defend when moving to England next week. Rennes are at home and have earned their place at this stage of the tournament, but bookies have local cheer at 3/1 (Bet365), a draw trading 11/5 with the same firm.
Lack of Focus
Arsenal have bigger fish to fry than the Europa League as they are involved in a heated battle with Tottenham, Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea for a place in the top-four of the Premier League and the Champions League football that comes with it. They may see the value in winning this trophy, however, as it gives the champions automatic promotion to the Champions League next term. More teams seem to be taking the Europa League seriously since Man Utd used it as a launchpad back onto the top table. Fancy the home win? Odds makers certainly do, and they have the away day marked as 21/20 jolly, market best price offered by Unibet. That’ll do for us and there’s enough there to back as a single or add to your midweek multiples.
Frankfurt v Inter Milan
The Germans set-up for this match with confidence on side having won each of their last two in the Bundesliga. They enjoy an impressive unbeaten run domestically and are within touching distance of the top-four as a result, with Monchengladbach in fourth just three points ahead going into the week. Another who would be forgiven for having one eye on their league campaign, but they’ll know the importance of winning at home and making Milan work in Italy next week. Bookies have the locals as 13/10 favourites, a price you’ll get with bet365.
Consistency is Key
Inter Milan sit fourth in Serie A with season stats of 14-5-7, leaving them three better than Roma in fifth but well off the pace set by leaders Juventus. Holding their ground looks to be their best bet at present but to do that they will have to continue the consistency they’ve shown in the opening exchanges of 2019. Milan lost to Cagliari on the road at the weekend, dropping a 2-1 result and the players will be tasked with finding serious improvement on that effort. Both teams to score again here is 3/4 with Coral, a bet that will do for us, or you can support the visitors at 2/1 with the same firm. Backers of the draw will get a market best price of 27/11 with Unibet.
Zenit v Villarreal
Zenit continue their tradition of going deep into European competition and they will be confident in their ability to reach the last eight of the Europa League. To achieve that they’ll have to beat a Villarreal side who have stumbled past the hurdles placed in front of them so far. Going to Spain and winning is no mean feat so Zenit’s best chance of getting anything out of this tie looks to be in winning the first-leg, preferably with a clean-sheet. They are top of the Russian Premier League and won at the weekend. We’re backing Zenit to get the desired result again at Unibet’s 9/10.
A Close Call
Villarreal have come close to being knocked out of this competition a few times already but are still standing and many believe the Spaniards are coming onto form at exactly the right time. They appear to be enjoying their European adventure, but it has come at the cost of domestic form and you’ll find them down in the relegation zone in La Liga, having lost each of their last two. Confidence is low in the camp and we couldn’t back them to blast their way to an away win, even at the 10/3 offered by Bet365. A draw is more likely, top price 13/5 with the same firm.
Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev
Home advantage in the first leg can’t be passed up by Chelsea as they aim to edge their way towards the final. This competition hasn’t quite captured the imagination of fans who have been spoiled by the Champions League riches in recent years, but Chelsea have waltzed into the latter stages without ever getting out of first gear and they’ve got to be backed for the win on Thursday at 3/10 with Ladbrokes. That’s a bet best suited to accumulators, due to the price, but it should do a job. Chelsea have won each of their last two Premier League starts as confidence begins to creep back in following that League Cup defeat to Man City last month.
Top of the Group
Dynamo Kiev finished top of Group K thanks to three wins, two draws and one defeat, enough to see them hold Rennes at arm’s length. They followed that with victory over two legs vs Olympiakos in the last round, winning 1-0 at home before holding on for a pulsating 2-2 draw in Greece, sneaking through on aggregate. They’ll face a much sterner test here and will have to take any chances that fall their way in London to have a chance of getting through. Traders really don’t fancy the away win and have been bold enough to offer a chunky 10/1 (Ladbrokes) on the Kiev cheer. A draw will earn you 9/2 with Unibet, but we’ll stick with home comforts.
Napoli v Salzburg
The last of our Mar 7 betting tips is for Napoli v Salzburg. The Italians are favourites to win the first leg and progress to the next round but if they think they need only turn up they are in for a shock. The Serie A side will be made work by their opponents who have impressed us in this competition so far. Napoli are second in La Liga on 56 points, but they won’t land a blow on Juventus this season with The Old Lady improving on last term to shuttle towards yet another Italian prize. The home side have won only one of their last four league starts but Ladbrokes have them priced at 1/2 for the victory on Thursday. We don’t think there’s any value in that quote, so will be happy to look past the locals.
Red Bull Salzburg sit top of the Austrian Bundesliga and have a nine points cushion over the chasing pack. They won last time out, taking their stats to 16 wins, three draws and just one defeat. Another title is in the post and they’ll be back in the mix for Champions League football next term. That cushion means they can afford this tournament their full concentration whilst they’re involved, and they were impressive when winning Group B ahead of Celtic with a perfect record of six wins from six starts. The bookies don’t seem overly impressed by Red Bull’s stats and there’s a market best price of 6/1 at Bet365. That’s tempting, but we’ll go for the draw at 10/3 with the same bookmaker.