WE got European football fanatic Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to delve into the Europa League late games for us. He’s highlighted two bets for us.
Fiorentina v Roma | Thursday 20.05 | BT Sport 1
This will be the third meeting between these two Serie A sides in 2015 and if the previous head-to-head trends are to relied upon, this match should feature fewer than three goals. Six of the last seven clashes have produced Under 2.5 Goals with only 12 goals scoring across those games.
The last encounter in Florence finished 1-1 and I’m attracted to the 10/11 on offer from William Hill that Both Teams Score in Thursday night’s first leg duel.
La Viola were handed a 4-0 spanking at Lazio on Monday night but are the form team coming into this game. After a sticky start to the season, Vincenzo Montella’s men have W13-D6-L3 of their last 22 outings and that loss at Lazio was only the third occasion that Fiorentina have failed to net during that run.
Looking at the BTTS stats, we can see 17/25 (68%) have banked dating back to November with only three clean sheets kept in 18 matches now. In Europa League fixtures, Both Teams To Score has proven a winner in four of their last five too.
As for Roma, the Giallorossi have lost their way since November and it’s now just four wins in 18 for Rudi Garcia’s team. The French boss has come under fierce criticism of late and although only three of those 18 were lost, the Wolves title challenge was surrendered long ago and now Roma face a battle to hold onto second place in Serie A.
Like their hosts, the Giallorossi have rewarded Both Teams To Score backers regularly in recent weeks with 10/13 (77%) winners. Garcia rested players for their weekend game at Chievo and is focussing plenty of attention of securing a Europa League trophy.
Neither side will want to take a step back and their refreshing approach to games in 2015 should lead us to an attractive game. With that in mind, the 10/11 from William Hill looks well worth an investment.
Villarreal v Sevilla | Thursday 20.05 | Sky Sports 5
Arguably the tie of the round. Villarreal’s season continues to impress as the Yellow Submarine despatched Celta Vigo on home soil comfortably at the weekend. That victory means Marcelinho’s men have now lost just four of their previous 28 games in all competitions and three of those came against Barcelona! It’s a magnificent return for a club that’s still dwarfed in size by the bulk of their Spanish counterparts.
The Villarreal boss has made no secret of his aspiration to win the Europa League (seeing it as the best route to Champions League football) and the Yellow Submarine have chosen to rest players in La Liga games pre and post continental action. Driven on my their home supporters, the hosts have the potential to grab a first-leg lead.
However, La Liga rivals Sevilla won’t lie down and take defeat lightly. Unai Emery’s team are the current holders of the trophy and maintained their own push for a Champions League spot by winning at Deportivo last weekend, although they did ship three goals in the process. The Rojiblancos will need to tighten up defensively if they’re to get a result at El Madrigal but rather than look to find a winner in the Match Odds or Handicap markets, I prefer the 4/5 from Ladbrokes that both sides score.
Sevilla have netted in their previous 10 road fixtures with their last eight also seeing the BTTS bet bank. On the other hand, Villarreal have now scored in an astonishing 34 of their last 35 with six of their previous eight also collecting for Both Teams To Score punters.
The two teams prefer to play on the front foot and previous meetings have also proved profitable for goals-based bets – five of the last six head-to-heads have seen tickets in the BTTS column while 15 of Villarreal’s last 17 Europa League fixtures have produced at least three goals.
Fiorentina v Roma – Both Teams To Score (10/11 William Hill)
Villarreal v Sevilla – Both Teams To Score (4/5 Ladbrokes)
What’s your best bet from the early Europa League games?
We’d love to hear what you’re backing so let us know in the comments box below.