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Europa League Tips – Thursday 9th March

We are back for the next two Thursday’s including this one with the Round of 16 first and second leg ties in the Europa League.

After the playoffs saw eight teams make it through to the Round of 16, the victors from the last round were drawn against the eight Group Winners from the opening stage of the Europa League to produce the Round of 16.

Two Premier League teams remain in contention in this competition, Arsenal, who face an away trip to Portugal to take on Sporting Lisbon, while Manchester United will play their third Spanish team in the competition so far this season, after Real Sociedad in the Group Stage and Barcelona in the previous round, when they face Real Betis at Old Trafford.

Other games see Bayer Leverkusen take on Ferencvaros, AS Roma facing Real Sociedad, Union Berlin v Union St Gilloise, Juventus v SC Freiburg, Sevilla taking on Fenerbahce and lastly Shakhtar Donetsk facing Feyenoord.

It’s an interesting mix of teams with some big names still in the tournament, as well as the most successful Europa League team of all time (Sevilla) alongside a number of teams who are perhaps surprises to have got this far, such as the two Union teams, Berlin from Germany and St Gilloise from Belgium, and the Hungarian side Ferencvaros who did well to win their group.

As usual, I have gone through the eight first leg ties taking place this week and come up with the following fourfold which I think offers a good value return.

Europa League Acca – Thu 9th March

    • 5:45
    • AS Roma v Real Sociedad Home Win
    • 5:45
    • Sporting Lisbon v Arsenal Away Win
    • 8:00
    • Juventus v SC Freiburg Home Win
    • 8:00
    • Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord Home Win
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Bet Analysis: Thursday 9th March

AS Roma v Real Sociedad – Home Win

The Italian side currently lie in fifth spot in Serie A and under Jose Mourinho, they have become a tougher side to beat, but also one that doesn’t score too many goals (just 31 in Serie A this season). Their form is therefore somewhat erratic but you would have to think at home they would have a great chance against the Spanish visitors. Sociedad also lie fourth in their domestic table and have the same number of points (44) from the same number of games (24) as AS Roma. As such, this should be a very closely fought contest and it is worth noting that Sociedad have a much better away record than home record both in Europe and domestically. That said, Jose Mourinho’s teams are very tough to beat in Europe and I think Roma will edge this one by a 1-0 scoreline.

Sporting Lisbon v Arsenal – Away Win

Arsenal fans will be hugely relieved that their team come into this game on the back of a massive win over Bournemouth where the Gunners came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to a 97th minute winner from Reiss Nelson. They now face an in form Sporting Lisbon side who have won four and drawn one of their last five and who sit third in the Portuguese league. Arsenal remain top of the Premier League by five points after the weekend and it is going to be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta approaches this game. If he goes full-strength, or close to it, then I can see the Gunners securing an away win here. If not then they could struggle, but I do feel Arteta will go with a strong team here and in that case, I back the Gunners to win.

Juventus v SC Freiburg – Home Win 

Juventus came through a tricky tie with Nantes in the last round to earn a crack at one of the stronger teams in Germany this season, SC Freiburg. A couple of heavy defeats to Wolfsburg (6-0) and Dortmund (5-1) have taken the shine off the season for the German side in the last couple of months, but they have won their last two games and are a strong, disciplined and well-organised side. Juventus struggled at home in the last round against Nantes, only managing a draw before they landed a win on the road in the second leg. Freiburg are a much stronger side than Nantes though and Juventus won’t want to give the Germans too much encouragement here, hence I am going to go for the home side to take a narrow lead with them into the second leg next week.

Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord – Home Win

I think what Shakhtar Donetsk have done over the last two years of European Competition has been remarkable and I think that they have a real chance here against a Feyenoord side that while being impressive domestically, have not had the best of form in the Group Stages of this competition. Donetsk will know that their best chance here is to land a win to take into the second leg in Holland, which is going to be very difficult against a team that has lost just one game in their league campaign so far this season. So I think this will be a tight game but I am backing the home side to snatch the win 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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