Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Europa League Picks

This evening sees the second leg ties from the Quarter Final stage of the Europa League. Fulham hold a 2-1 advantage as they travel to Wolfsburg and Liverpool need to overturn a 2-1 deficit in order to make the final four stages.

We got four from four in the first leg ties, now can we repeat that this time around? previews both matches and we’ll be giving you some excellent value bets.

VfL Wolfsburg v Fulham (1-2):

Fulham were looking good to progress in this tie until Wolfsburg scored in the 89th minute of the first leg at Craven Cottage. Now that they have an away goal and knowing that Fulham are fairly terrible on the road, Wolfsburg will be confident that it will be them playing in the Semi Finals of the Europa League.

Wolfsburg went through a major blip earlier in the season, failing to win in seven games at home between mid-October and the end of January, but have come out the other side and have won five of their last seven home games in all competitions.

Fulham, on the other hand, have won only one of their last twelve away games in all competitions. That win was against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup and Roy Hodgson’s side have lost eight and drawn three of the other eleven games.

How will this game go? I can’t honestly see Fulham winning this game but, while they are fairly inconsistent in scoring goals on the road, I see both sides finding the net as twelve of Wolfsburg’s last thirteen home matches have seen both sides score at least one goal. Recommends: Wolfsburg to win the match @ 8/11 with both sides to score @ 6/10 with William Hill.

Liverpool v Benfica (1-2):

After taking an early lead in Portugal last week, Liverpool would have hoped that they would have brought something back to Anfield for the second leg. However, Ryan Babel’s red card saw gave Benfica a way back into the game and they scored twice to lead the tie. However, Liverpool have an away goal and anything could yet happen in the next ninety minutes.

Liverpool are in inconsistent form overall, but at home they have won their last eight matches and have conceded just two goals in the process. Benfica are on an undefeated run of twenty-seven games in all competitions. Their away form is excellent also, having won ten and drawn five of last fifteen away games. They have won their last four away games and in the fifteen they have beaten Everton and Marseille amongst others.

Benfica will not fear travelling to Anfield, nor will Liverpool hosting the Portuguese side and this could prove to be an excellent football match. I feel that Liverpool will struggle to progress in this match, despite their excellent recent home record, as Benfica have found the net in fourteen of their fifteen unbeaten away matches and they possess the ability to score in Merseyside, as proven by their 2-0 win over Everton. Also, in the three matches that these sides have played Benfica have won all three, with an aggregate score of 5-1. I see both sides scoring in the game, but I don’t think either side will take victory on the night. Recommends: Back the draw @ 11/4 with both sides to score @ 8/11 with

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