Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: UEFA Europa League: Round of 16, 2nd Leg Preview

UEFA Europa League: Round of 16, 2nd Leg Preview

The remaining Europa League Round-of-16 ties will commence in midweek action before the last-16 teams that qualified for the quarter-finals travel to Germany where a “mini-tournament” will be played as a single-leg knockout competition, instead of the usual format.

Three straight wins will be enough to lift the cup after this round of games with Manchester United now priced as 2/1 favourites To Win Outright at Hollywoodbets, followed by Inter Milan (11/2), Bayer Leverkusen (7/1), Wolves (8/1) and Sevilla (9/1).

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Wednesday 5 August

Copenhagen 16/10
Draw 22/10
Istanbul Basaksehir 17/10

Copenhagen trail 1-0 from the first-leg thanks to an Edin Visca penalty in Istanbul. Since returning from lockdown, Copenhagen were inconsistent in the Danish Super Liga, dropping 18 points from a possible 36 on offer and eventually finished runners-up to Midtjylland by a 14-point margin. Istanbul Basaksehir, on the other hand, made history in the Turkish Super Lig by winning the club’s first ever league title this season. With experienced footballers like Martin Skrtel, Gael Clichy, Demba Ba and Robinho in the visitors ranks, I don’t see them bottling this opportunity to write themselves into the record books by making it an even greater campaign. This matchup is tricky to bet on because if the hosts win 2-1, Istanbul will go through by virtue of the away goals rule. I suggest backing First Team Score - Istanbul Basaksehir at 11/10 as they will look to finish off the hosts and not give them a foothold to get back into the contest.

Shakhtar Donetsk 12/10
Draw 5/2
Wolfsburg 2/1

Shakhtar Donetsk won their fourth consecutive league title in Ukraine, finishing off with an impressive streak of seven wins and two draws since football restarted. Wolfsburg finished seventh on the Bundesliga log, interestingly picking up more points on their travels compared to matches at the Volkswagen Arena. Admir Mehmedi scored one of the goals of the tournament in the group stages, but will unfortunately miss out for the Wolves due to an Achilles injury. Let’s keep this one short and simple, goals are expected, take Both Teams to Score (Yes) at a favoured 6/10.

Manchester United 2/9
Draw 5/1
LASK 10/1

Manchester United come into the clash with a 5-0 lead thanks to an Odion Ighalo inspired performance against the minnows at the Raiffeisen Arena. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to ring the changes at Old Trafford and give key players well deserved rests in order to keep them fresher for the latter stages. LASK were leading the Austrian Bundesliga but things went horribly wrong for the club, having points deducted after breaking coronavirus-related safety rules in practice sessions and disappointingly ending the championship round of the league with three defeats on the bounce. There’s little value on offer with the United win, I suggest taking Over 2.5 Goals at 5/10, which should be considered a banker in a competition that averages 2.8 goals per game this season.

Inter Milan 7/10
Draw 26/10
Getafe 38/10 

Inter will be ruing their missed opportunity of dethroning Juventus off the Scudetto. Back-to-back losses just before lockdown against Lazio and Juventus saw the famous Black and Blues lose ground on the reigning-champions, eventually finishing second by just a point thanks to Juve’s decline in the latter stages. Antonio Conte is doing brilliant work at the club and would love Europa League glory to validate his team’s success. Getafe endured a poor run to finish off the season. Before football was put on hold, they sat fourth in a Champions League position but after playing their remaining 11 games, Jose Bordalas’ men fell short of Europa League qualification for next season in eighth spot on the La Liga table. This clash in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, is one of the single-leg fixtures of the round and I’m backing Conte’s troops in the To Qualify market at 11/20.

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Thursday 6 August

Sevilla 11/10
Draw 9/4
Roma 5/2

The other single-leg fixture of the round will be played in Duisburg, Germany, where Roma come in full of confidence after ending Juventus’ 39-game unbeaten streak in Serie A at the Allianz Stadium. Sevilla, who have been the kings of this cup in recent seasons, won’t come in as underdogs either, having returned from the lockdown with an impressive record in La Liga of six wins and five draws. Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla have qualified for next season’s Champions League and would love to extend their delightful campaign with a decent showing in this cup. Goals have been shared around the Roma team with 13 different players finding the net for I Giallorossi since the restart, however, Sevilla have kept seven clean sheets in 11 matches. The stage will be set for a thrilling encounter, expect a cagey match with plenty of fouls, my money will be on the Draw in the Half-Time market at 11/10 odds.

Bayer Leverkusen 13/20
Draw 3/1
Rangers 37/10

Bayer Leverkusen fell two points short of Champions League qualification in fifth position of the German Bundesliga despite being one of the teams to watch in Europe this season with their forward-thinking brand of football. Die Werkself come into this clash with a 3-1 aggregate lead over Steven Gerrard’s Rangers when Leverkusen last visited the Ibrox Stadium in March. All eyes will be on Kai Havertz, who is strongly linked to leave the club. If the reports linking him with Chelsea are true, the 21-year old German starlet would love to give the Leverkusen fans this trophy and Champions League football as a parting gift before continuing his football journey elsewhere. There’s little chance for Rangers upsetting the applecart. Instead of looking for extra value, take the home win at decent odds of 13/20.

Wolves 7/10
Draw 5/2
Olympiacos 4/1

Wolves will be disappointed that Arsenal won the FA Cup last Saturday, which means Nuno Espirito Santo’s men unfortunately won’t be in next season’s Europa League after completing a seventh finish in the English Premier League. The only path for the Wolf Pack to earn European football will be to stick together and conquer this cup to gain entry into the Champions League. Don’t count this team out, they’re fantastic in both halves of the pitch and are real dark horses to win the tournament outright at 8/1 odds. Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota were members of the victorious Portuguese team in the inaugural UEFA Nations League and their experience will be invaluable. Olympiacos beat Arsenal at the Emirates in dramatic fashion, but it is highly unlikely that the red and whites will enjoy this trip. The home win is tipped confidently at 7/10.

Basel 14/10
Draw 26/10
Eintracht Frankfurt 17/10

Basel come into the encounter with a 3-0 lead from the first-leg. The Commerzbank-Arena witnessed one of the goals of the tournament by Basel’s number 10 midfielder Samuele Campo whose brilliant left-footed free-kick found the top-right corner to open the scoring back in March. The hosts have scored 56 goals in 24 matches at St. Jakob-Park across all competitions this season and this trend is expected to continue. Eintracht Frankfurt will be relying on their two hitmen upfront, Andre Silva and Bas Dost to score early to give them some hope of turning the tie around. Basel are certainties to qualify but there’s definitely goals in this matchup. Put your money on Over 2.5 Goals at 6/10, get on!

Wednesday QUAD @ 7/1
Istanbul Basaksehir - First Team Score 11/10
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Wolfsburg - Both Teams to Score 6/10
Man United vs LASK - Over 2.5 Goals 5/10
Inter Milan To Qualify 11/20

Thursday QUAD @ 17/2
Sevilla vs Roma - Half-Time Draw 11/10
Bayer Leverkusen Win 13/20
Wolves Win 7/10
Basel vs Eintracht Frankfurt - Over 2.5 Goals 6/10

Written by Bryan Naicker