FOOTBALL BETTING: Live On Channel 5: Thu 18:00 Liverpool are favourites to win the Europa League but must first bypass Lille in the last 16. Chris Hutcheon previews Thursday’s matches.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was at a loss to explain his side’s poor performance as they went down at Wigan on Monday but he will certainly be demanding a response tomorrow as his side head to Lille for the first leg of the pair’s Europa League tie.
At 4/11 with Betfred, the Reds look a safe bet to progress to the quarter final at the expense of the French outfit but as their opponents have lost just once in their last 16 home games in Europe, that reverse coming against Manchester United after Ryan Giggs scored a controversial, quickly-taken free-kick; a victory for Benitez’s men, priced by Betdaq at 7/5, is perhaps a big ask.
Nevertheless, Liverpool can also restrict their hosts and so despite Stan James’ chunky 9/4 chalked against Lille taking a lead back to Anfield, punters should arguably focus their attention on Totesport’s 23/10 for the pair to be inseparable in the Stade Lille-Metropole, where Victor Chandler post 11/2 against a 1-1 scoreline.
Reds marksman Fernando Torres struggled at the DW Stadium, wasting the few chances that came his way, but his match sharpness looks to be returning and he shouldn’t be discounted at 7/5 (Paddy Power) to get on the scoresheet in France.
For Fulham, a dream clash with Juventus is the reward for eliminating defending champions Shakhtar Donetsk but this looks like a tie too far for the Cottagers, who are 9/4 (Totesport) to overcome the Italian Giants; Paddy Power’s 4/11 favourites. Alberto Zaccheroni’s side possess far more European experience than their Premiership counterparts and are 8/15 at 888Sport to rack up a first leg lead in Turin.
In the evening’s other ties, Russian side Rubin Kazan are 11/10 courtesy of Betfred to run out first leg winners against Wolfsburg, Betdaq’s 4/5 chances Atletico Madrid can do likewise against Sporting Lisbon and at 9/10 (Stan James), a Valencia team inspired by David Villa can see off Werder Bremen.
Compare Europa League Odds and bet at the best prices