FOOTBALL BETTING: Live On Channel 5: Thur 20:00
There’s a full programme of Europa League matches on Thursday night with favourites Liverpool taking on Unirea Urziceni. Chris Hutcheon previews.
Eliminated from the Champions League and demoted to the Europa League, Liverpool were immediately installed as 7/1 favourites for the latter by Totesport, ahead of Valencia (10/1, Betfred) and Roma (11/1, Partybets) and as the competition represents the Reds’ last chance of landing any silverware this season, boss Rafa Benitez will be keen to justify his side’s position as market leaders.
They should certainly come through their opening tie against Romanian outfit Unirea Urziceni, as Ladbrokes’ 1/6 for them to qualify suggests and as the first leg is at Anfield, Liverpool can put themselves firmly in the driving seat.
Stan James post 1/3 against a home win in this one but there’s a strong chance that the Reds will be as good as out of sight after the opening encounter; bet365 making them 21/20 to prevail by at least two. Liverpool can also win without conceding, a result rated by 888Sport at 11/10 and at the other end Steven Gerrard can once again be a Euro hero for Liverpool; he’s 9/2 with Victor Chandler to open the scoring.
Things are unlikely to be as straightforward for Fulham who are 7/4 (Jaxx.com) to plot a route past Shakhtar Donetsk and 13/8 with Betfred to take an advantage over to Ukraine. The Craven Cottage encounter however, could prove inconclusive (23/10, Paddy Power), leaving Roy Hodgson’s men up against it in their bid to reach the last 16.
Elsewhere amongst the first leg matches; Stan James chalk 5/6 against an Atletico Madrid victory at home to Galatasaray in a match-up that could potentially set up a meeting with Everton, Totesport offer 13/10 for Standard Liege to see off Red Bull Salzburg and Roma (11/8, Ladbrokes) can edge out Panathinaikos.
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