GAVIN Murphy (@GamePlanGavin) has taken a look at Thursday’s Europa League and reckons there’s cards value to be had.
Valencia v Athletic Bilbao | Thursday 18:00 | BT Sport Extra
Europa League action returns on Thursday and provides plenty of opportunities for cards punters. I have analysed the previous seasons second leg matches and its a mixed bag.
The big danger in say tipping cards in Man Utd v Liverpool is that with the Reds 2-0 up an early goal can kill the tie. Therefore, I’ve looked at past results and opted to recommend games which look more competitive on paper.
Valencia will hope to end a run of disappointments in two-legged all-Spanish ties in UEFA competition as they welcome Athletic Bilbao in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 decider.
Raúl García scored the only goal for Athletic as they prevailed in the sides’ maiden UEFA meeting in the first leg. The teams have met 174 times in the Liga and Copa del Rey: Valencia are 68-65 up in terms of victories, though Athletic won the most recent encounter 3-0 at Mestalla on Sunday 28 February.
I recommended cards in the first leg and it lost. Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers gave only three cards in rain soaked, atrocious conditions. With Italian ref Daniele Orsato in charge of this do or die encounter I’m very comfortable recommending over 45pts at 17/20 with William Hill.
Sevilla v Basel | Thursday 20:05 | BT Sport 2
My second pick also comes from Spain as holders Sevilla host Basel fresh from a goalless draw in the first meeting in Switzerland. There were eight cards in the first leg with the usually lenient English ref, Anthony Taylor in charge.
This time, German whisteblower Denis Atykin gets the cards and I expect him to be busy. Over 45pts at 21/20 looks attractive in what should be a rocking Roman Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville.
Valencia v Athletic Bilbao – Over 45 Bookings Points (17/20 William Hill)
Sevilla v Basel – Over 45 Bookings Points (21/20 William Hill)
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