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Europa League Acca – Thu 18th February

This Thursday, the Europa League returns to our screens for what is a busy period of games for the teams that do well in the competition. While the Champions League has a very nicely spaced out five week period to complete its Round of 16 games, the Europa League will complete its Round of 32 and Round of 16 ties over the same period.

This ensures that from the quarterfinals on, both competitions are at the same point as we head into the biggest games in each.

Manchester United joined the four other British teams that qualified for the Round of 32 by virtue of finishing 3rd in their group in the Champions League. They join Arsenal, Tottenham, Rangers and Leicester City in this round and all teams will feel that they have winnable contests in this opening round of the knockout phase.

Arguably Arsenal have the toughest test as they take on Portuguese aces Benfica, though Manchester United’s task in defeating Real Sociedad is not an easy one either. Rangers face an Antwerp side that have Spurs a few problems in the group stage too.

Speaking of Spurs, they face Austrian side Wolfsberger while Leicester City will head to the Czech Republic this week to face Slavia Prague. Given that there is a nice spread of games for the British sides this week, it is not too surprising that I have elected to pick four of their games for my acca selection.

I do have a soft spot for this competition as it has provided me with some very nice midweek acca wins over the last few years, moreso than the Champions League has, so I am hoping that its return can lead us to land another couple of wins over the next few weeks. There’s certainly going to be plenty of games to pick from over that period with 48 games to be played across both the Round of 32 and Round of 16.

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

Europa League -18th February 2021

    • 6:00
    • Thu - R.Sociedad v Man Utd - Away Win
    • 6:00
    • Thu - Slavia Prague v Leicester - Away Win
    • 8:00
    • Thu - Antwerp v Rangers - Away Win
    • 8:00
    • Thu - Benfica v Arsenal - Home Win
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Bet Analysis: Thursday 18th February: 6.00pm

Real Sociedad v Manchester United – Away Win

After the disappointment of dropping into this competition, Manchester United now have a chance to win it and they begin that quest with a tough trip to Real Sociedad. The Spanish side were one of the early pace-setters in La Liga this season but have fallen a little off the pace at the moment into sixth place in the table. With just one win in their last five ahead of the weekend, I think this is a good time for United to play Sociedad and if United can beat Paris St Germain away from home, then I feel with their home record, they can do likewise here.

Slavia Prague v Leicester City – Away Win

Make no mistake, this is a tough game for Leicester. Slavia Prague have not lost a game all season in the Czech League and they are top of that table by 10 points. However, it is also fair to say that they have not met a team of the quality of Leicester City very often this season either. It is also worth remembering that the Foxes away form is superb and has been the cornerstone of their success. With Jamie Vardy nearing full fitness and likely to play, I think his inclusion makes them so much more dangerous and as such, means I moved from my original prediction of a draw here to a Leicester win.

Bet Analysis: Thursday 18th February: 8.00pm

Antwerp v Rangers – Away Win

I have to be honest and say of all the games that I have backed in this accumulator, this was the one that caused me the most indecisiveness. Rangers have been excellent this season domestically and in European football. Steven Gerrard has got his team playing some great football and the league title looks in the bag in Scotland. However, they face an Antwerp side that gave Spurs a couple of very tough games in the group stages and whom I think will push Rangers close. However, the confidence Rangers have at the moment and their away form in general is such that I just about plumped for them to land a narrow win here, rather than the draw, but it was almost a 50/50 call.

Benfica v Arsenal – Home Win

For me, Arsenal have the toughest task of all the British teams in this round of the competition. Benfica are a tricky side and they have ended the hopes of a few British teams in European competition over the years. The Gunners also come into this game not in the greatest form and perhaps lacking a bit of confidence. Benfica’s form in the Portuguese league hasn’t been great. Ahead of the weekend, they had won just one of their last five, drawing three of those games to lie 4th in the table. However, I feel at home they will be a stern test for Arsenal and may take a narrow lead into the second leg.

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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