Europa League Picks & Tips for Sevilla vs. Valencia

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:03 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 5:03 PM GMT

It’s an all-Spanish affair as Sevilla and Valencia collide in the Europa League semi-finals, a spot in the final hanging in the balance. Join us as we preview this highly anticipated clash and deliver our soccer free picks for your consideration.

Valencia’s Historic Comeback
Valencia orchestrated a sensational comeback at the expense of Basel to advance into the semi-finals. Paco Alcácer scored a hat-trick in Valencia’s whopping 5-0 routing of Basel at Estadi de Mestalla, a remarkable victory that marked the first time in Europa League history that a side wiped out a three-goal deficit.

Few could have predicted the heroics at Mestalla. Not just because the scoreboard was tipped wholeheartedly against the Spanish side but also because it’s the stuff of dreams. Nothing like it had ever happened in the history of the competition and similar enough comebacks are few and far in between. What’s more, Valencia’s form this season has been suspect, dragging the club down towards mid-table obscurity in La Liga. And as it is the comeback seemingly came out of nowhere. Indeed, only the cautious optimist or diehard Valencia fan would have been brave enough to back such a result.

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Sevilla Punch Above Their Weight Class
Sevilla faced their toughest challenge of the competition in FC Porto but they were up for the task, advancing at the highly favoured Portuguese side’s expense 5-2 on aggregate. Sevilla fell behind in the tie following a 1-0 defeat in the Dragons’ den. But a goal-deficit is hardly an insurmountable obstacle. As they proved, almost immediately turning the tie on its head with gusto at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Valencia burst out of the gates and levelled the tie in the first five minutes on a fortuitous penalty.  Twenty minutes later Bacca broke the deadlock through an assist (Vitolo’s goal) and a goal (four minutes later) to lift Valencia to a 3-1 lead on aggregate. The second half was a nervy affair with an urgent FC Porto attempting a belated comeback and a desperate Valencia, reduced to 10-men in the 54th minute, defending stoically. All told, the hosts prevailed to the delight of their fans and even managed to grab a fourth goal when substitute Gameiro scored in the 79th minute, a happenstance that rendered FC Porto’s goal deep into stoppage time a mere consolation prize.

[gameodds]35/263784/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Sevilla vs. Valencia Match Betting Tips and Picks
It’s rather interesting to note the similarities between this pair on their course into the semi-finals: both reversing deficits and, in turn, turning their respective tie on its head. Of course, Valencia’s account was the more impressive all things being considered. So how does this impact the soccer betting markets for their upcoming European date?

As things currently stand, Sevilla are tipped as the firm favourites to win the first leg at -118, a market stance that probably has a lot to do with home advantage and their better form this season – Sevilla are fifth in La Liga while Valencia are eighth and a whopping 14 points behind. As well, Sevilla are deemed the third favourites at +400 to win the competition proper, a wee bit shorter than Valencia – the competition’s underdogs at +450 on the soccer odds board to win outright.

Still, Valencia haven’t lost to Sevilla this season in domestic action. In fact, they beat Sevilla 3-1 at home on September 22 and then forced a scoreless draw on Sevilla at the Pizjuán on February 16. So although they are tipped at the significant disadvantage at +300, they might just fancy their chances. Let’s not forget they just dumped Basel out of the competition in stunning fashion and should be brimming with confidence as a result, motivated to continue the momentum at the expense of familiar foes.

Soccer Free Picks: Valencia to win outright at +300

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