Written 20th February 2020
Europa League - Fixtures on 20th February
The Europa League returns with the round of 32 knockout stages, as the 3rd place teams from the Champions League drop down in competition. Inter Milan, Benfica and Ajax are some of the teams dropping down who will fancy their chances in the Europa League. This week, we’ve picked out 3 of the matches and put together an 8/1 boosted treble. For the latest football betting odds for all Europa League matches, make sure to head over to Bet UK’s online betting. Check out the latest Europa League betting tips over at Bet UK's sports betting blog.
Mikel Arteta gets his first taste of European football as a manager when Arsenal face a tough trip away to Olympiakos. Arteta might have been wishing for an easier tie for his Arsenal side, but they are still favourites heading into the tie. Coming off the back of a dominant 4-0 over Newcastle, Arsenal are surely full of confidence. Alexandre Lacazette scored his first goal in 9 games, Mesut Ozil continued his resurgence and Arsenal’s young stars continued to impress. They face an Olympiakos side that is unbeaten domestically, but only scraped through to the Europa League knockout stage. They finished 3rd in their Group, only qualifying because of an 87th minute penalty in their final match. So although this sounds like a tough match, it might end up being easier than expected for the Gunners.
Wolves are into the knockout stages of a European competition for the first time in 29 years and will fancy themselves against Espanyol. Wolves impressed in their Group Stage, winning 4 games out of 6, only failing to beat a strong Braga side. The Europa League has been a competition that Nuno Santo Espirito has taken seriously. Expect Raul Jiminez , Adama Traore, Ruben Neves and others to feature against Espanyol, especially considering Wolves could find themselves in the Champions League with success in this competition. Espanyol finished top of their group, but didn’t come up against any tough teams. This is backed up by the fact that Espanyol are rock bottom of La Liga as it stands. Their focus will surely be on maintaining their position in La Liga, so don’t expect a full strength line up.
Rangers take on Braga in their round of 32 tie, who finished top of Wolves’ group. Rangers were drawn in the ‘group of death’, alongside Feyenoord, Porto and Young Boys. Despite the obvious challenges, Rangers finished second in the group and were unbeaten at Ibrox. The Gers are led by Alfredo Morelos, who already has 14 goals in their extended Europa League campaign. Another 4 goals will hand him the record for the most goals scored in a single Europa League season. He is a 8/5 favourite to score against a Braga side that sloppily conceded 9 goals in their 6 group games. If Rangers can shut Braga out, then Steven Gerrard will expect a close fought 1-0 win, with Morelos grabbing the only goal.
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