CARD king Gavin Murphy (GamePlanGavin) returns with his two best bets from Thursday night’s Europa League card.
Athletic Bilbao v Valencia | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport 2
Athletic Club and Valencia will need no introduction as they meet for the first time in Europe in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. While the sides are facing off for the first time in UEFA competition they know each other very well from domestic competition.
Bjorn Kuipers gets the whistle. The Dutch league is generally low key for cards but in European competition he has dished out 27 cards in five games, an average of 5.4.
If this were a domestic encounter then over 45pts would be around 1/6. As it is a European game with a non-Spanish referee we can get far better value. I’m backing over 45pts with William Hill at 3/4.
Liverpool v Manchester United | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport Europe
One of the most celebrated rivalries in British, even world football will be taken to a whole new level as Liverpool welcome Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. The clubs are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
Louis Van Gaal was considered in his pre match news conference. Jurgen Klopp, on the other hand was not, describing it as ‘the mother of all games’. Rousing talk indeed!
Spaniard Carlos Velasco Carballo is in charge of this tussle. In La Liga action he averages 7.4 cards per game but in European competition this drops significantly to five. He gave four earlier in the season when Man Utd visited CSKA Moscow.
He only operates at Champions League level so his appointment for this tie shows that UEFA are expecting plenty of needle. The previous meetings between these two teams read 2-3-6-7-8. Anfield should be rocking and over 4.5 cards with Bet365 at 4/5 looks terrific value.
Athletic Bilbao v Valencia – Over 45 Booking Points (3/4 William Hill)
Liverpool v Manchester United – Over 4.5 Cards (4/5 Bet365)
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