Providing three of the four sides involved, Portugal dominates the Europa League semi-finals and it’s perhaps not surprising that Sportingbet offer just 1/4 for the eventual winner to be one of that trio.
Porto are Boylesports’ 6/4 favourites and they’re also well fancied at 4/6 (Totesport) to prevail in their first leg clash against Villarreal. The Spanish outfit are 5/1 courtesy of , to carry a lead back to El Madrigal but they do their best work at home and face a tough test against Andre Villas Boas’ side, who have a treble in their sights this season having already wrapped up the league title without yet tasting defeat and reached their domestic cup final.
Stan James offer 8/13 for Porto to reach the Dublin final but given the strength of the ‘Yellow Submarine’ on their own patch, we’re happy to seek value in goals at the Estadio Do Dragao.
There have been goals galore in the European matches of both teams this season and the pair have rarely struggled to find the net. Porto have failed to register just once in the competition, at home to Spanish opposition coincidentally, and Villareal have drawn a blank three times in their 14 matches, so William Hill’s 19/20 for both to score in this one looks safe.
Similarly the same firm’s 10/11 for a match tally of more than 2.5 goals catches the eye, as it’s a total that has been surpassed in ten of the hosts’ 14 Europa League outings, a statistic that also applies to the visitors.
Porto’s in-form marksman Hulk meanwhile, is 11/10 with to strike at any time and Guiseppe Rossi, who has notched in his last five European appearances, is a chunky 12/5 (Stan James) to make it six in a row.
Betfred make Benfica just 4/7 to get the better of Braga in the first leg of the pair’s all-Portuguese tie and it’s 4/9 courtesy of Stan James for Jorge Jesus’ charges to reach the final. However, to some extent, Braga have been the competition’s surprise package and shouldn’t be written off so it’s best to concentrate on the night’s other fixture, even though there’s some appeal in bet365’s 12/5 for the hosts to nick it by a one-goal margin.