Pick Krasnodar Over Everton in Europa League Round 2

Nikki Adams

Thursday, October 2, 2014 12:24 PM GMT

As Champions League betting wraps up on Wednesday, we turn to Europa League betting. Everton travel to Russia to take on Europa League newcomers Krasnodar on Thursday in Round 2 of Group H action. Check out our soccer-betting preview on this matchup complete with soccer free picks.

Round 1 Recap
Everton began their campaign in Europe’s second-tier competition with a convincing 4-1 win over the Wolfsburg at Goodison Park. They’ll be making their first bid for a road win at the expense of Krasnodar, a side that has risen out of Russia’s third-tier ignominy since its inception in 2008 by Russian retail billionaire Sergey Galitsky to the heights of Russian Premier football and Europe’s elite competition.

Krasnodar opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at Lille. As things currently stand, Everton lead Group H with a 1-0-0 mark and three points (four goals against and one conceded). Krasnodar are second in the table, level on points with Lille with a 0-1-0 mark (one goal for and against). A win in this clash would elevate Krasnodar into top spot. Similarly, Everton could advance its edge over the field significantly with a convincing win.
 

Krasnodar favoured
Odds makers send Krasnodar into this fixture as the favourites, albeit on the short side of even money at +130 soccer odds to win outright. Krasnodar currently sit sixth in Russia’s Premier League with after nine rounds with a 5-2-2 mark and 17 points. Most recently, they are after a three-game winning stretch in domestic action – Prem wins over Amkar Prem’ and Arsenal Tula, as well as a cup win over Sokol Saratov (two clean sheets, all while scoring eight goals combined and conceding one).

One cannot help but be impressed by Krasnodar and what they’ve accomplished in such a short space of time. In recent history, a growing space for unheralded clubs has emerged on the European front, and we’ve had the pleasure to be part of this football emergence and development that extends beyond common power centres. Why, a fortnight ago, Ludogerets played Liverpool close at Anfield in Champions League betting action. Just in, Liverpool succumbed to defeat to Basel.

Soccer bettors look to back Krasnodar on their soccer picks could do no worse than backing this ambitious, opportunistic side on home turf. There’s a lot to like about these Russian upstarts, not least the eye-popping 3-0 win over Real Sociedad at home in Europa League qualifiers, which rescued that tie (they lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad) and confirmed their place amongst Europe’s best clubs.  And a fortnight ago, they held a respectable French outfit to a 1-1 draw in Lille.
 

Everton at the disadvantage
Odds makers have matched Everton as the +230 underdogs when they travel to Krasnodar in Russia, and for good reason. The Toffees are set to take a 4000-mile round trip to the South Russian city (near Sochi and the Black Sea). Never mind the long an arduous journey, they’re headed to a distant place where they’ll be almost certainly without any fan support (who’s going to make that long trek for a group match, even if it is a Europa affair?). Already the conditions aren’t advantageous for the Toffees.

What’s more, Everton are struggling mightily in Premier League action. They are a far cry from the undefeated side that start last season with verve and swagger. Down to 15th in English Premier League action following an abysmal run of form, compounded by key injuries, Everton are in dire straits. They are 1-3-2 through six rounds of domestic action and six points. Problems appear to be on both sides of the ball – scoring 12 goals and conceding 14. Most recently, they lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace at home and drew 1-1 to Liverpool in Premier League action and, interspersed in between those two results was a shocking 3-0 defeat to Swansea City in League Cup.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict
Given Krasnodar are enjoying solid home form and European form as well, soccer bettors have to consider they are the value soccer pick at +130 to win outright. Nothing about Everton’s domestic form is encouraging at the moment to suggest their +230 soccer odds merit a tickle, and the long, arduous trip to Krasnodar is sure to take its toll. So take Krasnodar on your soccer picks to win straight up.

For our second free pick on this matchup, we recommend the over-under betting markets. Roberto Martinez has put together a strong squad for this important European engagement with Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto, amongst several others boarding the flight. While neither player is firing at all cylinders right now, there is no denying their attacking potential. Krasnodar play an attacking style of football as well, while both Everton and Krasnodar are prone to suspect defending on occasion. All this lends itself nicely to the over 2.5 at +100.

Soccer Free Picks: Krasnodar +130; Over 2.5 at +100

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