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Europa League Acca – 24th February

We’re back this week with the second leg ties of the Playoff round in the Europa League, a new format for the competition which helps accommodated the new Europa Conference League, as well as increasing the quality of opponents in the latter stages of the Europa League tournament.

Eight Group Winners from the opening round of games in the group phase lie in wait for the eight teams that make it through the playoffs and after last week’s first leg games, there is something to play for in all of the eight matches taking place on Thursday.

Last week’s games were very interesting with the biggest shock coming in Germany where Borussia Dortmund were beaten 4-2 at home by a rampant Rangers, a result that not only surprised many but also saw the Dortmund manager questioned by the board following the result.

Napoli also recorded a good 1-1 draw away to Barcelona, who will regret some wasteful finishing from Ferran Torres in that game, making their trip to the newly named Diego Armando Maradona stadium all the more tricky.

Four games kick off at 5.45pm on Thursday night, with four more at 8.00pm, so do remember to get your bet on early if you are planning a wager, especially this one as two of my selections below are from the earlier games.

Here’s my tips for this week’s Europa League matches.

Europa League Acca Tip – 24th February

    • 5:45
    • Lazio v FC Porto Home Win
    • 5:45
    • R.Sociedad v RB Leipzig Home Win
    • 8:00
    • Napoli v Barcelona Home Win
    • 8:00
    • R.Betis v Zenit St Petersburg Home Win
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Bet Analysis: Thursday 24th February

Lazio (1) v (2) FC Porto – Home Win

I am looking forward to this game as I feel the tie is so delicately poised that it could go either way. I think Lazio have underachieved in Europe in recent years and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be well aware that with no away goals here, Porto will be looking to hang on to what they have. The Italians home form has generally been good in Europe this season and Porto’s away form isn’t that great, which means that this one goal lead for Porto is a bit precarious. I’ll be honest, I don’t really know who will eventually go through from this tie, my gut feeling here is that Lazio will win the game by one goal which will leave us needing extra time and maybe even penalties to decide the winner on aggregate.

Real Sociedad (2) v (2) Red Bull Leipzig – Home Win

I’ll hold my hands up and say that I was pretty surprised that Sociedad managed to put some indifferent form behind them to earn a very good draw away to Leipzig last week. twice taking the lead before Leipzig struck back to level. It was a battling win, with Sociedad scoring with their two shots on target, while Leipzig dominated possession but could not turn that into a lead. That may be a problem as Sociedad at home are likely to be more of a threat. Leipzig though are capable of scoring against any team, they did score three away to Manchester City and beat PSG at home, but by the same token, defensively they are pretty poor and I think that is what will see Sociedad eventually claim the win here.

Napoli (1) v (1) Barcelona – Home Win

There will be huge interest in this game in Naples as the home side seek to knock out Barcelona from the tournament after earning a draw in the away leg. In truth, Barcelona should have won the game, but some poor finishing, notably from Ferran Torres, cost them the chance of at least a slender lead to take to Italy. Napoli’s home form in Europe over the years has generally been pretty good but they have been beaten there too, Arsenal most notably in recent times, and Barcelona will feel they are not out of this yet. I almost plumped for another draw here but I think in the end the home side will just sneak the win.

Real Betis (3) v (2) Zenit St Petersburg – Home Win

Betis earned a big win in the first leg and I think the Spanish side will feel that they should be able to get the job done here in the second leg in Seville. Zenit started slowly and were 2-0 down before striking back but Betis caught them again with a third goal, all in the first 41 minutes. Betis only had 37% of the ball in the first leg but were very dangerous with it and I think at home, they should have more of the ball and I think Zenit, who are a team that don’t travel that well, may pay the penalty for that poor first leg showing here.

Dean Wyatt

Author: Dean Wyatt

Dean Wyatt is the founder and editor here at Acca Nation. He’s been betting sports for over 20 years and is a profitable sports trader on the exchanges.

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