Europa League 2nd legs tonight. I was wrong to dismiss the Europa League last week as it proved to be an effective trading competition. Will that be the case tonight? I will try and tweet but I do want to have a break before Saturday and Sunday which will be busy days.
EUROPA LEAGUE 2nd LEGS
17:00 - AEK Larnaca v Plzen - 2.25 AEK
- A comprehensive 3-1 Plzen first leg win with added gloss care of a penalty for the 3rd goal.
- AEK have a glimmer of hope from the away goal. A 2-0 home win will do for them today. If Plzen score first, it will be a problem for AEK.
- Plzen has not won in 6 away Europa League matches. 1-0, 0-0, 1-1 in 3 of their last 4 though and those are scorelines Plzen would be happy with today.
- AEK recent wins have come v Lincoln Red Imps, Cork City and Dinamo Minsk, hardly earth-shattering form.
17:45 - Dynamo Kiev v Maritimo - 1.28 Kiev
- Ukraine v Portugal.
- 0-0 from the first leg so it is advantage Maritimo today. If Maritimo score first, Kiev will require 2 goals.
- The market expects Kiev to score 2 or more goals today and insure themselves against the concession of an away goal.
- Maritimo have only played 1 away match since 2012 in the Europa League so there is little to work with.
- Kiev were last in the Europa League in 2015 and won 5 consecutive home matches in 2014/2015.
18:00 - Zenit St Petersburg v Utrecht - 1.36 Zenit
- 'Old reliable' Zenit St Petersburg. They are a team I follow in Russia and now appear in the Europa League where they face a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Yes, they failed to score that all-important away goal.
- That's 2 consecutive 1-0 losses for Zenit in the Europa League.
- 7 wins and a 2-2 draw with Sevilla in recent home matches before their 0-1 defeat latest sees Zenit usually full of goals.
- 6 draws in 9 matches for Utrecht and of course any draw will do for them tonight, preferably a score draw.
- Only 2 away matches played since 2013 in this competition, those were draws.
- Zenit will have to aim for 2 or 3 goals today if they are to ensure qualification and insure against an away goal being scored.
- The market expects them to end their consecutive 1-0 defeats.
18:00 - Sheriff Tiraspol v Legia Warsaw - 2.00 Legia
- 1-1 from the first leg here and both goals post 76th minute.
- These are 2 sides with less-than-appealing form in the Europa League.
- At a stretch I would say that Legia has consistently met the tougher opponents with the likes of Ajax and Napoli of late.
- 2 teams who seem out of their depth in this competition so tough really to be confident.
- Sheriff has the away goal so a 0-0 suffices for them today. A Legia away goal will mean Sheriff must mirror that and not concede a 2nd away goal.
18:00 - Oleksandria v BATE Borisov - 2.3 Olek
- Ukraine v Belarus here.
- 1-1 from the first leg gives us little to work with. An away goal to help for Oleksandria whi (as above with Sheriff) must reply if conceding.
- BATE would look for 2 away goals to ensure qualification I think but they, at 1.1 shots at the weekend, faltered domestically.
- BATE has yet to win in 9 attempts in the Europa League 2 consecutive score draws and a 2-2 score draw will see them through on the away goal rule.
- These 2 epitomise the Europa League. I know next to nothing about Olek and then have to decipher how an unknown Ukrainian side will play against a team from Belarus!!
18:00 - Red Bull Salzburg v Viitorul Constanta - 1.22 Salzburg
- 1-3 Salzburg win from the first leg. 3 away goals and it should be game over. Tough to be confident that Salzburg will maintain winning ways because they simply don't have to win.
- They merely need avoid a 0-3. Teams that don't need to win rarely do win.
18:00 - Ostersunds FK v PAOK - 2.50 PAOK
- Ostersunds scored first with a penalty. Then PAOK scored 3 goals, the last a penalty.
- Ostersunds did beat Galatasary at home 2-0 which is good form.
- PAOK have 2 consecutive 1-1 draws away.
- The market cannot split these 2 teams.
18:00 - Maccabi Tel Aviv v SCR Altach - 1.50 Maccabi
- A solid record in the Europa League for maccabi Tel Aviv 8 consecutive wins, 3 consecutive 1-0 wins, 6 clean sheets in 7 matches.
- As ever, the question remains how the teams they beat measure up against SCR Altach?
- Only 1 loss in 8 matches for SCR Altach.
- 0-1 is a precarious scoreline. Maccabi need only keep a clean sheet in order to qualify.
18:30 - FK Suduva v Ludogorets - 1.53 Ludo
- 2-0 Ludogorets from the first leg. FK requires a 2-0 in order to keep the tie alive. If Ludogorets score that away goal, FK will need to score 4 goals.
- The market looks right here.
18:30 - Fenerbahce v Vardar Skopje - 1.14 Fener
- 2-0 Vardar win in the first leg. They scored a 20th minute goal. Fenerbahce had a man sent off in the 89th minute. Vardar scored a 2nd in the 90th minute - and own goal as well.
- The market is unconvinced that the Macedonian side showed true form in their 2-0 win and expect the full wrath of Fenerbahce to be unleashed upon them. 1.14 odds suggests 3/4 goals.
- Fenerbahce had some good practice at the weekend, coming from 0-1 and 1-2 down to draw 2-2 with Trabzonspor. They have it within themselves to come back from this.
- They need more than the 2 consecutive 1-1 draws at home though.
- Vardar were last in the Europa League in 2007 away so no form to work with.
- 2-0 bare minimum for Fenerbahce today. 4-0 if they want some space incase of a Vardar away goal. They are certainly priced today more for the 4-0 than the 2-0.
19:00 - AEK Athens v Club Brugge - 2.4 AEK
- 0-0 first leg so advantage Club Brugge. 0-0 0-1 0-0 AEK last 3 Europa League matches.
- If Club Brugge score, AEK will need to score 2goals. Will we see another 0-0? Back 0-0 pre match perhaps and trade out at halftime?
19:00 - FC Midtjylland v Apollon Limassol - 1.91 FC
- No draw in recent Europa League matches for FC Midt.
- 3-2 Apollon win in the first leg - that's 2 3-2 losses for Apollon in their last 3 Europa League matches.
- Both teams have scored in the last 6 Europa League matches.
- 4 wins in 5 Europa League matches for Apollon.
- 2 away goals for FC Midt means they only need a 1-0 bare minimum in order to qualify.
- There is a feeling though with these 2 that we could see both teams score and goals goals goals.
19:00 - Videoton v Partizan Belgrade - 2.45 Videoton
- 3 consecutive 0-0's for Partizan in the Europa league. I will look to lay 0-0 in this match if 0-0 at halftime. This 0-0 sequence cannot continue indefinitely.
- Advantage of course to Partizan who, with an away goal, will require Videoton to score 2 goals.
19:45 - Skenderbeu v Dinamo Zagreb - 1.7 Zagreb
- Albania v Croatia.
- 1-1 from the first leg.
- 0-0 away for Dinamo Zagreb last Europa League match.
- No strong angles here.
19:45 - Shkendija v AC Milan - 1.28 Milan
- Tie over. 6-0 first leg AC Milan.
19:45 - Rosenborg v Ajax - 1.95 Ajax
- This is a tough-to-read Ajax side.
- 2-1 opening day loss to Heracles became a better 3-1 home win v Groningen.
- Now we get a 0-1 loss v Rosenborg whose Europa League away form was woeful.
- That's 3 consecutive losses now for Ajax, albeit the 2 previous were v Lyon and Man Utd
- Did Rosenborg have this match in mind in their 0-1 loss v Haugesund at the weekend domestically?
- 0-0-0-1-1 scored in their last 5 home matches for Rosenborg. And it is a repeat of the poor away form we saw in the Europa league.
- Ajax away in the Europa League are poor. 4 draws and 2 defeats in their last 6 away. Both teams scored in 7 of the last 8 away.
- Ajax need an away goal to match Rosenborg, then need to score a 2nd away goal to leave Rosenborg struggling.
- It is tough for me to be confident about this current Ajax outfit. It seems we have 2 teams who both struggle in the Europa League and outside of their home countries.
19:45 - Athletic Bilbao v Panathinaikos - 1.33 Ath
- 2-0 Panathanaikos turned into 2-3 Ath Bilbao in the first leg. A real surprise to see the Greeks so dominant so early.
- Pana's only recent win in the Europa League was v an Azerbaijani outfit. This is an obvious step up, albeit to a ring-rusty primera Liga side.
- 5-3-3-3 scored by Bilbao in their last 4 home Europa League matches. So good stuff but questionable quality of opponents.
- Pana has conceded in their last 5 aways in the Europa League. The market is emphatic here. A home win.
19:45 - Braga v Hafnarfjordur - 1.25 Braga
- Braga, much like Zenit, are turning into a team to follow this season, from a trader's perspective. Their last profit was in making an opponent's red card pay at the weekend.
- This is yet another 1-2 scenario we see today. A home side with 2 away goals. 0-0 or even 0-1 suffices for the home side. The away side must really match the 2 away goals today to have a chance. 0-1 is not good enough.
- Braga is in the driving seat today and should oblige against this Icelandic outtfit.
19:45 - Marseille v Domzale - 1.18 Marseille
- 1-1 from the first leg saw Marseille come from behind to get that crucial away goal.
- The market expects the Slovenians to suffer away at Marseille and concede upwards of 3/4 goals.
- Marseille's only recent loss at home in the Europa League was a 0-1 v Ath Bilbao.
- 3-0 loss to West Ham and 1-0 to Freiburg might suggest struggles for Domzale away to clubs from the Elite leagues.
20:00 - Crvena Zvezda v FK Krasnodar - 2.06 Crvena
- A 2-0 lead for FK became a 3-2 final score and they really let Crvena in here in this second leg ( Crvena also known as Red Star Belgrade).
- No angle whatsoever here. Sorry! It looks keystone cops defending from both sides. A 1-0 sees the home side through.
20:00 - Hajduk Split v Everton - 2.3 Everton
- Everton are yet to concede in the Europa League.A routine 2-0 home win sets them up to score that away goal 2nd leg and put this tie to bed with the minimum of fuss.
- Split are a Croatian side and Croat teams tend not to last long outside of their home countries in European competition.
20:05 - Austria Vienna v Osijek - 1.91 Austria
- Osijek are yet to draw a recent Europa League. Enough to lay any late draw?
- 1-2 Austria Vienna from the first leg sees 2 important away goals. Austria Vienna go through with a 0-0 or even a 0-1 defeat.
- AV lost to Roma and Astra at home last year in the Europa League. Osijek did beat PSV 0-1 away which is eyecatching. 0-1 still wont' cut it today though.
- Angles tough to come by because Austria Vienna have those 2 away goals.