Europa League Picks for Besiktas vs. Liverpool: Can the Reds Notch Their Fifth Consecutive Victory?

Steven Suarez

Thursday, February 26, 2015 2:25 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 2:25 PM GMT

The Reds hold a 1-0 advantage heading into the second leg, but it's going to take a focused and determined effort in the return on Thursday. How are the soccer betting odds shaping up?

Odds Overview
The Europa League odds suggest we should be in for a very closely contested match, which doesn't come as much of a surprise. Liverpool is the favorite at +150, but Besiktas is right there at +200. A draw is trading at right around +225 at the major sportsbooks.

 

Besiktas
The Black Eagles were unable to bounce back after losing 1-0 in the first leg to Liverpool, as they fell 1-0 once again, this time Eskisehirspor in the league. Both defeats came away from home, however, so maybe returning to their familiar surroundings will kick their form into gear and give them the necessary boost.

In terms of the Turkey Super Lig, Besiktas is currently in second place, behind only Galatasary. The Black Eagles are just one point back on the top spot, but then again they've got Fenerbache right on their heels, as they're a point behind in third place. As you can see, it's a very tight race in Turkey's top flight league.

However, the focus today is on Europe, and the Black Eagles would love nothing more than to advance over a legendary team like Liverpool, especially in front of their own fans. It looks like Demba Ba will be good to go for the match, which is a big boost considering he's been easily the team's most prolific scorer. He's found the back of the net 13 times in the league, and we know he's had success against the Reds when he was with Chelsea too.

 

Liverpool
It's hard to deny the Reds' excellent form heading into this evening's showdown with Besiktas. They've won four straight matches across all competitions and have gone unbeaten over their last seven (six wins). It's been a great run of form that's seen Liverpool get right back into the top four conversation, and they're also still involved in both the Europa League and the F.A. Cup.

With so much still to play for, and confidence growing by the dar, the Reds will be fancying their chances of adding another positive result to their tally against the Black Eagles. Though captain Steven Gerrard is still out through injury, the return of Daniel Sturridge has come at exactly the right time, and even the confrontational Mario Balotelli has been playing better. Raheem Sterling remains one of the best young players in the world, and Simon Mignolet has looked a lot more assured in net after a shaky start to his 2014/15 campaign.

Gerrard won't be available tonight, and Coutinho has not been included in the squad, which means we could see Adam Lallana step into the starting XI alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson, with Joe Allen and Jordan Ibe likely fo feature in some way too. Will Liverpool be able to notch their fifth consecutive victory across all competitions?

 

Europa League Pick
We don't expect the Reds to come in and dominate this match by any stretch of the imagination.

Getting a win at Anfield is one thing, but traveling to Turkey, one of the most soccer-crazy countries in the world, is never easy, and Besiktas is going to come out with a lot of motivation and passion. Liverpool is going to have to handle some early pressure most likely, and the Reds will need a very disciplined performance if they want to move on to the Round of 16.

With our soccer picks, in the end we see a draw being the final conclusion, which in turn would mean Liverpool would secure advancement. Though there's no clear edge in the soccer odds in our estimation, our best bet will be on the draw.

Soccer Pick: Besiktas 1 Liverpool 1

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