Europa League | Quarter-Finals First Leg Prediction & Betting Tips


THE always-excellent James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) shares his favourite fancies from Thursday's Europa League card as the knockout rounds continue with the quarter-finals first legs.

West Ham vs Lyon | Thursday 7th April 2022, 20:00 | BT Sport 

David Moyes has hoisted his side out of the slump that saw them win just one match over a six game period from mid-February to mid-March. The Hammers look revitalised after winning three of their last four and with them scoring seven goals in the process, they look back to their attacking, free-flowing best.

This is not good news for Thursday’s foe Lyon. The French side's demise has been slow and constant over the past few seasons. Once an ever present in the Champions League and regular Ligue One title challengers, they currently languishing in ninth domestically which means their only hope of European football next campaign lies in this competition.

Even given the added impetus for the visitors, I still think West Ham will get the job done at the London Stadium. They have only lost five games at home all season, they are unbeaten in their last six and won their last four on the spin.

Opting to take them with a -0.25 asian handicap means that we only lose half our stake if Moyes’ men draw, I would advise 1.5pts.

Braga vs Rangers | Thursday 7th April 2022, 20:00 | BT Sport

Rangers knock-out games in this competition have been box office; four games, 16 goals and 18 cards. With that in mind, I think the goal line is worth taking on as over 2.25 goals is 1.880 with Bet365. The bet has clicked in each of their previous four games in this competition and 72% of their last 18 games in all competitions.

Since Giovanni van Bronckhorst took the reins at Ibrox, the Gers have only failed to score once in his 29 game tenure as they have averaged just over two goals a game.

Hosts Braga have scored 1.64 goals per game domestically this campaign, generating a total xG of 43.37 in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Crucially, the Archbishops will have had six days to recover since their 3-2 victory over Benfica last Friday.

Ranger’s have had only three days to recover, travel and prepare since their Old Firm defeat on Sunday. I think this will mean we see the hosts start the brighter which could encourage a goal laden game.

Leicester vs PSV Eindhoven | Thursday 7th April 2022, 20:00 | BT Sport

 Ivan Kruzliak has the whistle for this clash at the King Power Stadium. This campaign, the Slovakian has dealt 139 cards out in 25 games, that is an average of 5.56 per game. He does not go missing on the European stage either, in fact, based on his card brandishing antics, it looks as though he rises to the occasion.

Over the course of his career, Kruzliak has awarded 6.2 cards per game in the Europa League. The last eight games he has taken charge of in this competition have seen a staggering 52 yellows, seven reds and two penalties!

Although the line is high, I think it is worth taking over 5.0 cards (Asian Total) at 2.050 with Bet365. Kruzliak has overseen 30 UEL games, during which, the bet would have lost in just 20%. It has clicked in 70% of those fixtures, including all of the last eight games he has taken charge of. With the added security of your stake back if there is exactly five, I’ll be having two points on this.

With Kruzliak also flashing at least one red in a third of his UEL games, I also think William Hill price of 9/2 for the match to feature a sending off is worth half a point. This bet has landed in five of his last eight games in this competition, both of the games he has overseen this season.


You combine West Ham -0.25, the goals in Braga and cards at the King Power at 7/1 with Bet365, I will be having a quarter of a point on this.

Best Bets

West Ham vs Lyon – West Ham -0.25 Asian Handicap (7/10 Bet365)

Braga vs Rangers – Over 2.25 Goals (9/10 Bet365)

Leicester vs PSV Eindhoven – Over 5.0 Cards (1/1 Bet365)

Leicester vs PSV Eindhoven – A Sending Off (9/2 William Hill)

About Author

My first bet, like most, was on the Grand National. However, I really got into betting when my dad used to go and get me and my brother the slips before home games on a Saturday. At the beginning we’d all pick one away team in a £3 three-fold but soon my brother and I were gathering all our shrapnel and creating the most ambitious accas you could imagine. Unbelievable, I won a 30/1 BTTS acca once. I remember when Birmingham pulled one back to win me the bet in the last seconds of the game, I must of been hooked from then on...

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