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Anticipating chaos in the Europa League...

Thursday 25th February 2021

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Europa League, 2nd Legs…
  • Half a dozen likely lads…
  • High-goals contenders…

Anticipating chaos in the Europa League…

At this stage of last season’s competition, seven of the 16 Europa League 2nd Leg matches went Over 3.5 Goals.

The year before, six out of 16 delivered for Over 3.5 Goals backers.

This evening, my research leads me to four games that tick the box as high-goals contenders. See below.

Goals, Goals, Goals…

Last week, eight of the 16 matches in the Round of 32, 1st Legs produced 4+ Total Goals. It was a record-breaking night, with 59 goals the highest match-day total since the tournament took on its current format in 2009/10.

Sporting Index are running a spread betting market for this week’s Europa League action. Tottenham already played their 2nd Leg last night, winning 4-0. Meaning there are 15 matches to be decided this evening, adding on to yesterday’s 4 goals…

The spread quote for ‘Total Goals’ in the ‘Midweek UEFA Europa League Aggregates’ market at Sporting Index is set at 50 to Buy. That means that a Buy (eg. to bet high) would require 51 or more goals to generate a profit. And 51 just so happens to be the total scored in last season’s 2nd Legs at this stage of the competition.

To make a worthwhile profit there then, you’d probably need tonight’s games to generate another tally to trouble the record books. And is always the caveat with spread bets, the risk is an outcome that swings dramatically the other way, resulting in a large loss.

Half a dozen likely lads…

In the Scorers notebook, I can remind you of the five players highlighted in last week’s Europa League preview:

  • Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd) – scored twice in the 4-0 win at Real Sociedad last Thursday, and was on target again in the Premier League at the weekend
  • Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
  • Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • Patson Daka (Salzburg) – scored a hat-trick in the Austrian Bundesliga on Sunday, making him the top scorer in the league

And one name to add to that list of attackers today:

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) – an unused sub in the 2-2 draw at Red Star Belgrade seven days ago. Zlatan is two games without scoring; he hasn’t gone three appearances without finding the net all season

In today’s Anytime Scorer markets, the bookies are betting around Evens (2.0) each for the like of Fernandes, Vardy, and Aubameyang. With Daka 8/5 (2.6) at best. And Ibrahimovic odds-on at 7/10 (1.7).

High-goals contenders…

I’m focusing on the Total Goals markets for tonight’s matches. With these four standing out as in particular to me, as high-goals contenders:

Rangers v Royal Antwerp (5.55pm)
Aggregate: 4-3

  • Steven Gerrard says Rangers won’t sit back to defend their lead. I’m inclined to believe him. Four of his team’s 10 Europa League games this season have gone Over 3.5 Goals, with 7 going Over 2.5. In 2 of their last 4 home games in Scotland, Rangers have won 5-0 and 4-1
  • 5 of Royal Antwerp’s last 7 games in all competitions have gone Over 2.5 Goals. With 3 of them bursting the 3.5 line

Over 2.5 Goals is 8/15 (1.53).
Over 3.5 Goals is 11/8 (2.38).

Hoffenheim v Molde (5.55pm)
Aggregate: 3-3

  • Hoffenheim are ranked 2nd in the German Bundesliga stats on our website for Over 2.5 Goals (77%), with only Bayern Munich giving more payouts. Their cup exploits this season have included 1-4, 5-0 and 4-1 wins in Europe, as well as the 3-3 draw in the 1st Leg. Plus, a brace a 2-2 draws in the German Cup
  • Molde’s last 13 matches in all comps have gone Over 2.5 Goals. With an eye-catching 10 of those also paying out on the higher Over 3.5 line

Over 2.5 Goals is 1/3 (1.33)
Over 3.5 Goals is 4/5 (1.8).

Bayer Leverkusen v Young Boys (8pm)
Aggregate: 3-4

  • 7 of Bayer Leverkusen’s last 9 home games in all comps have paid out on Over 2.5 Goals. Including 4-0, 4-1, 4-1, 5-2, and 2-2 score-lines all delivering on Over 3.5 Goals, too
  • Young Boys have played a total of 10 games in European competition this season, and 8 of them have gone Over 2.5 Goals. Four of their last 6 in all comps have produced 4+ Total Goals

Over 2.5 Goals is 4/9 (1.44).
Over 3.5 Goals is Evens (2.0).

PSV Eindhoven v Olympiakos (8pm)
Aggregate: 2-4

  • PSV are chasing the scoreboard here, 2-4 down from the 1st Leg. The Dutch side are on a high-goals streak, with a noteworthy 14 of their last 16 games in all comps paying out on Over 2.5 Goals – and 11 of those also paying out on Over 3.5 Goals. The Dutch Eredivisie stats on our site show PSV have a 73% home strike-rate for Over 2.5 Goals
  • 7 of Olympiakos’ last 8 games in all comps have gone Over 2.5 Goals. They are top scorers in the Greek league this season

Over 2.5 Goals is 4/6 (1.67).
Over 3.5 Goals is 13/8 (2.63).

Take your pick…

There’s lots to choose from in the Goals markets today. Both Teams to Score, Over 2.5 Goals, Over 3.5 Goals… not to mention Anytime and First Goalscorer potential, with some entertaining matches expected.

I’ve included the individual odds for Over 2.5 and Over 3.5 Goals above, if the Singles or any Multiples appeal to you.

A combo on the four featured games to all go Over 2.5 Goals just about touches 4/1 (William Hill).

I’m playing aggressive – as is my go-to stance in situations like this – with a straight-up four-fold acca on the Over 3.5 Goals combo, at 20/1+. The stats are there, and the 2nd-Leg factor adds urgency and attacking incentive for several of the teams involved, too…

Today’s picks

From the analysis above, here is my pick for today…

Europa League

  • ACCA. Over 3.5 Goals in the 4 games listed above @ 21/1 with Bet365, Marathonbet, BetVictor, 20/1 William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook

I’ll be back on Friday afternoon with your Weekend Preview email.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues