Europa League 2010/2011 – Outright Betting Update
The draw for the Round of 32 in this season’s Europa League has been made and the betting market has undergone a bit of a shake-up. Surprisingly, English Premier League side Manchester City (4/1) has been installed the favourites for the competition following their progress from Group A. Even more startling is inclusion of Liverpool (11/2), who have been, at best, mediocre this season and should they beat their opponents Sparta Prague (200/1), they would then have to overcome a very tricky tie against either Lech Poznan (100/1) or Sporting Braga (80/1).
Perhaps the best value from the head of the betting market is Zenit St Petersburg (8/1). The Russian football club won the Europa League in the 2007/2008 season and during the group stage this year they’ve won six from six and scored an impressive 18 goals. If they overcome Young Boys (100/1) in the round of 32 they could set up a mouth-watering clash against their Premier Liga rivals Rubin Kazan (40/1)! Another potential eye-catching tie is a match between CSKA Moscow (12/1) and Sevilla (20/1) or Porto (10/1). CSKA would first need to get the better of Greek side PAOK Salonika (100/1) but given that the Russian club side have been highly impressive this campaign; you’d suspect they would breeze into the last 16 of the Europa League.
It’s at this stage of the competition that we welcome those teams that failed to qualify from the group stage of the Champions League and you’d have thought one of those sides would automatically be favoured for Europa League success but that isn’t the case. Ajax (20/1) is the most fancied of those teams while Benfica (33/1), FC Twente (40/1) and Spartak Moscow (50/1) all represent excellent value for those punters looking for bigger odds. French Ligue 1 side Lille (40/1) and Ukrainian outfit Dynamo Kiev (50/1) will have plenty of followers along with German club Bayer Leverkusen (16/1), PSG (20/1) and PSV Eindhoven (33/1).
There’s one team that standout for me though and that’s Villarreal (18/1). They face Napoli (33/1) in the Round of 32 and a potential last sixteen clash with Leverkusen but the Spanish side is full of star quality, prolific goal scorers and attack minded football and I’ll be surprised if they don’t line up for the Europa League Final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next May.
Best Bets: Villarreal (18/1) & Lille (40/1)