Free Soccer Picks: Europa League R16 Second Leg Rundown

Martin Green

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:14 PM GMT

All eight second leg fixtures in the Europa League last 16 take place this week, and with several matches delicately poised there are several exciting betting options. Here we take a look at all eight games, give insight into the teams’ form and offer predictions on the outcomes of the matches.

All eight second leg fixtures in the Europa League last 16 take place this week, and with several matches delicately poised there are several exciting betting options. Here we take a look at all eight games, give insight into the teams’ form and offer predictions on the outcomes of the matches.

 

Lazio vs. Sparta Prague
Lazio laboured to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of this tie in the Czech capital, but they are the stronger side and should manage to win this one. The away goal will give them confidence, and a narrow Lazio victory seems likely. They are odds-on favourites to qualify, priced at -250 with bet365, and they are also huge favourites to win in 90 minutes. The best odds on offer are -137.5 at Sky Bet, and this looks a good bet as Lazio are a far bigger club with some dangerous attackers and you would expect them to win against a side that is not even top of the relatively poor Czech league. 888 Sport has +575 on 1-0 to Lazio, and another decent bet looks to be the +550 on Felipe Anderson to score first at Bet Bright.

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Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao hold a slender lead over Gary Neville’s Valencia in this tie, having won 1-0 in the first leg. Valencia’s failure to get an away goal could prove costly, because if they concede they will need to score three to go through, with away goals counting double in the result of a draw. Valencia have been conceding a lot of goals this season, so that looks a distinct possibility, and it leaves Bilbao massive favourites to qualify from this all-Spanish tie, best priced at a lowly -333.3 with Coral. Valencia are the favourites to win this second leg (+225 with Sporting Bet) but that is unlikely as they are in poor form and last month lost 3-0 at home to Atletic Bilbao. Instead you might be better off backing an away win at +180 with Ladbrokes or a draw at +240 with Boyle Sports. Both would see Bilbao through. Or try Atletic Bilbao draw no bet, which is evens with Sky Bet and Paddy Power.

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Bayer Leverkusen vs. Villareal
This promises to be a fascinating clash, as Bayer are a strong side and will have been extremely disappointed to lose 2-0 to Villareal in the first leg. When the teams were drawn, Bayer would have been slight favourites to go through, but now Villareal are odds-on to qualify, best priced at -450 with Bet Victor and 888 Sport. If Bayer can get an early goal, however, it blows the tie wide open. Bayer are in dreadful form, however, and have taken just one point from their last four games. They are favourites to win this second leg tie, -120 with Boyle Sports, but that is a risky bet. A draw might be more advisable as it would still see Villareal through. That is +280 with bet365.

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Braga vs. Fenerbache
Fenerbache take a 1-0 lead to Portugal and will be confident of prevailing over a side that is currently fourth in the Portuguese league. In Turkey, Fenerbache are second in the league, just a point behind Besiktas, and they are in decent form, having won their last four games. They are best priced at -275 to qualify and that looks likely. Braga are favourites to win this second leg match, +137.5 with Sky Bet, but the +225 Boyle Sports has on a draw looks the better bet for our Europa League picks.

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Anderlecht vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar are the superior side here and they had little trouble in beating the Belgians 3-1 in the first leg. Anderlecht are +140 with Paddy Power to win the second leg, but that is not advisable given Shakhtar’s dominance in the first match. However, it might be risky to back Shakhtar to win this game outright (+175 with Betfred) as a draw would be a good result for them, sending them through to the quarter-finals, so you would expect them to approach the game with caution and not commit too many men forward. While the Ukrainian league is just getting started again following the winter break, the Belgian league is winding down for another season, so the Europa League is all Anderlecht have to play for, so they will give it their all, knowing a 2-0 win would see them through on away goals. Seeing as they have failed to win the Belgian league, finishing third behind Club Brugge and Gent, you would expect them to fall short and fall out of Europe for another season. Shakhtar draw no bet looks interesting here, and Coral has -105 on this.

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Tottenham vs. Dortmund
Tottenham were destroyed by Dortmund after fielding a weakened side in the first leg in Germany. A few key players were rested, and Dortmund seized the opportunity, beating Tottenham 3-0 courtesy of a Marco Reus brace and a goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The tie is already over as a contested, with Dortmund best priced at -5000 with bet365 to qualify, and for Tottenham all that is really left to play for is pride. They still have a great chance of winning the Premiership, so you would expect manager Mauricio Pocchetino to once again rest players and focus instead on the next league game. But the ones that come in will have a point to prove, and Dortmund will not need to be too adventurous as they know they are as good as through to the quarter-finals already. A draw therefore seems a distinct possibility. Betfred is offering +250 Europa League odds on this outcome, which looks a good bet.

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Man Utd vs. Liverpool
Man Utd fans were apoplectic when their side crumbled to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Liverpool in the first leg of this all-English tie. The clamour for manager Louis van Gaal to be sacked was ramped up exponentially in the wake of the loss, with fans bemoaning not just the result but the manner of the defeat, with several players played out of position and a general lack of pace, positivity and incision depressing the faithful. Liverpool can be expected to see of the job and qualify here, but a draw might be a more likely result as it would see Jurgen Klopp’s side progress on aggregate. The draw is best priced at +240 with Sky Bet and William Hill. Under 2.5 goals looks another good option, and Coral and William Hill have -120 on this.

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Sevilla vs. Basel
Sevilla have a great pedigree in the Europa League in recent years, having won the competition for the last two years in a row. They are among the favourites to make it three on the bounce, but they will have to get past a strong Basel side who will make life very difficult for them indeed. They held Sevilla to a 0-0 draw in the first leg and know that an away goal would need the Spanish side needing to score twice to go through. Sevilla are favourites (best priced at -225 with Sky Bet and various others) and deservedly so. It is likely to be a tight game and if they win it will probably be by a slim margin, so spreading your bet on a 1-0 to Sevilla (+650 with Paddy Power) and 2-1 to Sevilla (+800 with Bet Victor) looks like a good way to approach this. 

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