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Europa League tonight - incentives to deliver at 9/1...

Thursday 10th December 2020

In Across the Leagues today:

  • Europa League match-day 6…
  • Repeat business in the quest for value…
  • 9/1 for the 1st-place challengers…

Europa League tonight – incentives to deliver at 9/1…

Last night saw a rare blank for the Championship’s top scorers…

Lucas Joao missed a penalty for Reading, who lost 2-1 at home to Birmingham.

The division’s top scoring team Blackburn failed to register, losing 1-0 at Bristol City. Promotion favourites Brentford also came up dry, drawing 0-0 with Derby…

The Championship’s two top scorers, Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong, remain on 14 goals each.

Expect those guys to feature again very soon.

Repeat business in the quest for value…

As I say every week – and I’ll say again: price is king.

The bottom line is that, so far this season, backing Toney, Armstrong & Joao at yesterday’s Anytime Scorer prices, to level stakes in every league match they’ve played, would’ve produced an overall profit. And that’s the kind of area we go hunting in…

The goal-scorer value-quest continues this evening with match-day 6 in the Europa League. Play starts from 5.55pm.

  • So far, 18 of the 24 places in the Knockouts have been confirmed. That leaves 6 spots to be decided in the final round of Group games this evening. With a further 8 clubs dropping in from the Champions League, to make up next week’s Last 32 draw. You can get a full run-through of who needs what today on the official UEFA site, here

Lech Poznan v Rangers – James Tavernier @ 5/2

Standard Liege v Benfica – Luis Pizzi @ 2/1

My colleague Shaun has started calling this service the Tavernier-backer. I say, if the Rangers right-back keeps on getting priced up at these kinds of odds, then we’ll keep on putting him in…

So far this season, I’ve named James Tavernier as an Anytime Scorer pick on four separate occasions. Producing two payouts, at odds of 11/5 (3.2) and 5/2 (3.5), for an overall profit.

The same goes for Benfica midfielder Luis Pizzi. Highlighted in three different matches, he’s also proved a worthwhile selection, providing a winning payout at 16/5 (4.2).

Both men don’t play as forwards. But both take penalties, and have also shown a keen eye for goal from open play. Not least in the last seven days, with both men finding the net. Here  are the key stats for these two:

  • Tavernier is 5/2 (3.5) today. If backed to level stakes at that price in every game this season = 96% ROI
  • Tavernier has scored in 5 of his last 6 games, and in 14 out of 25 appearances in all competitions for Rangers
  • Pizzi is 2/1 (3.0) today. If backed to level stakes at that price in every game this season = 20% ROI
  • Pizzi has scored in 4 out of 5 Europa League games this season, and in 3 of the last 4 Benfica games overall

Both Rangers and Benfica are already qualified for the Knockouts, but both teams know a win tonight gives them the chance to top the Group. They’re currently level on 11 points each.

Finishing in 1st place with as many points as possible is important, because the top Group winners will avoid teams coming in from the Champions League in the Round of 32. There’s also important prize money up for grabs.

That’s not to say that players won’t be rested tonight. I don’t have Steven Gerrard on speed-dial. But Tavernier is the Rangers captain, and has so far played in all of their 25 (unbeaten) matches in all comps this season. Pizzi has featured in all 15 Benfica games in 2020/21.

At the prices, and against opponents with nothing to play for, too, these men are going in again.

Incentives to deliver at 9/1…

It’s rare that you’ll see me flagging up a Europa League acca. And one predominantly made up of away teams, at that. But this final round of Group games paints a clear picture for certain teams and what results they need…

There’s a fair case to be made for backing the cream to rise to the top in this handful of Group deciders this evening:

  • Rangers (5.55pm)
  • Benfica (5.55pm)
  • Lille (8pm)
  • AC Milan (8pm)
  • Tottenham (8pm)

As discussed above, Rangers and Benfica both know a win is required to give them the opportunity to finish 1st in Group D.

It’s a similar case in Group H, with Lille and AC Milan already qualified, and now fighting it out for top spot…

  • Lille are a point ahead of Milan, and unbeaten in the competition so far. The French side go to Celtic, who are already confirmed to finish bottom of the group. Lille have only lost one out of 18 games in all comps this season, and have scored in every match. Celtic are winless in 5, and have lost 4 of their last 6 at home
  • AC Milan have also suffered just the one loss in 18 games in 2020/21. The Italians have won 5 of their last 6 away. Hosts Sparta Prague have lost 4 of their last 6 matches, including a 0-3 defeat at home in the Czech league on Sunday
  • Tottenham are at home v Royal Antwerp. Spurs are in 2nd place in Group J, 2 pts behind Antwerp. They need to win to top the group. Jose Mourinho’s side have lost just one of their last 19 games in all comps, winning 6 of their last 8. At home, Tottenham have won 5 in a row, conceding just one goal in that run. Antwerp have only won one of their last 4 away games

Those five teams to win pays 9/1 and 8/1. And with the incentive there for each side to perform, there’s the potential for this combo to provide some Thursday night entertainment.

Today’s picks

From the analysis above, here are my picks for this evening…

Europa League – BT Sport

Lech Poznan v Rangers (5.55pm)

  • Anytime Scorer: James Tavernier @ 13/5 (3.6) with Betfred, 5/2 (3.5) Betway, 12/5 (3.4) Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook 

Standard Liege v Benfica (5.55pm)

  • Anytime Scorer: Luis Pizzi @ 2/1 (3.0) with Betfred, Betway, Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral

Five-fold acca as listed above:

  • ACCA. Match Result: Rangers, Benfica, Lille, AC Milan & Tottenham to Win @ 9/1 with Betfred, Marathonbet, 8/1+ Skybet, BetVictor, Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral

I’ll be back tomorrow with your weekend preview.

Enjoy the football…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Oliver Upstone

Across the Leagues