It’s round two of the Europa League playoffs this week. The draw for the Group Stage is on Friday, so who will be there? We have a whole clutch of British sides aiming to be in the draw, and some have more work to do than others after the first legs of their respective play offs. This is now down to the wire for the British sides, as these matches will determine their European futures for the rest of the season. Tottenham made the biggest impression of the British clubs, thumping Hearts 5-0 in their first leg. But all of the British side in the Europa League play offs are still in with a chance after the first leg, even Shamrock Rovers. Rangers are the only side which have to come from behind on Thursday night to get into the Group Stage. Will all the British sides prevail? Check out your Europa League Play Off betting preview here.
Bet365 are streaming live football from this week’s Europa League matches on their website. The highly rated online bookmaker is again delivering some top European action, and you can even see how Birmingham fare in their second leg against Nacional at St Andrews. The live football streams is one of the big perks of being a Bet365 customer and helps immensely when you are looking for live in play betting as well. You can also catch the matches from Atheltic Bilbao, Anderlecht, Braga and Spartak Moscow as some of the big guns look to fight their way into the Group Stage. Bet365 welcome new customers registering an account, with a £200 free bet and come highly rated.
Dnipro v Fulham
The boys from Craven Cottage hold a good 3-0 lead from the first leg. That is just what they needed ahead of this long trip to the Ukraine. Can’t see the hosts here over turning such a big deficit, not on the evidence of the first match. Fulham will just have to go there and consolidate, soak up a bit of pressure and just keep the ball. Boss Martin Jol will be happy enough with the first leg display to carry this off. Shouldn’t be any scares, just get the job done and get back home.
Prediction: Draw 23/10 at Bet365 (Dnipro 13/10, Fulham 5/2)
FS Sion v Celtic
The Scots will have been thoroughly under whelmed by their first leg performance. Their accuracy up front was nowhere near good enough, certainly not at home if they are expecting to go far in the Europa League. Their 0-0 first leg tie is not a disaster, as they can go away and grab and away goal which will set them up nicely. They need to be a bit more patient and clever with their play though. Still enough in them to get past the Swiss side.
Prediction: Celtic win 11/5 at Skybet (Sion 6/4, Draw 23/10)
Partizan Belgrade v Shamrock
Well it was a big night in Ireland last week, as Shamrock Rovers held Paritzan Belgrade to a 1-1 draw. The only disappointing factor about the result, was of course the fact that the visitors got an away goal under their belt. That will likely be huge, as seeing Shamrock score away from home against the Serbs is hard to see. Unfortunately don’t think we are going to see too much of a surprise here as the home side has that extra quality in their side to deal with this.
Prediction: Partizan win 1/4 at Bet365 (Draw 5/1, Shamrock 14/1)
Rangers v Maribor
It is back to Ibrox for Ally McCoist’s men, after coming back from the first leg in Slovenia with a 2-1 defeat. They have an away goal, which could prove vital on the night, but they have to go out and score. Not sure if we saw enough of a threat from the Scots in the first leg, with the two sides looking pretty evenly match. Rangers need to ramp up the volume and they aren’t in bad shape for the second leg, as a 1-0 win would do it for them. Don’t see a lot more than that happening, but have to stick with the home side.
Prediction: Rangers win 4/7 at Victor Chandler (Draw 3/1, Maribor 11/2)
Birmingham v Nacional
We thought that Birmingham were the British side most likely to tumble out at the Europa League play offs. Truthfully we expected a lot more from the Portuguese side at home, better than a 0-0 draw anyway, in which neither side really looked as if they were going to threaten a winner. It was a bit disappointing, but Birmingham will be the happier of the two sides getting back to home advantage with the job half done. However, there could be a sting in the tail from the Portuguese, and if they sneak and away goal, it’ll be hard for Birmingham to muster up enough to fight back.
Prediction: Draw 23/10 at Bet365 (Birmingham 6/5, Nacional 14/5)
Stoke v Thun
Stoke City did a good job of keeping the Swiss side quiet in the first leg. There was a lot of hard work to get through for them, but it all turned out well for Stoke, as they snatched a 1-0 win. That was the perfect result for them, and fully expected. It was the smash and grab raid that they wanted, so that they could get back to home turf with relative safety. Stoke are tough to break down at home, and they will bully and batter their way through this tie.
Prediction: Stoke win 8/15 at Totesport (Draw 16/5, Thun 13/2)
Tottenham v Hearts
Well, the big Battle of Britain in the Europa League whimpered out after the first leg. It is pretty much done as a contest really, with Spurs winning 5-0 north of the border. Didn’t expect that degree of a victory to come, but it means that we know who we are going to see in the next round. It was a good win for Spurs, and they should be able to grab another win back at White Hart Lane.
Prediction: Spurs win 2/7 at Bet365 (Draw 19/4, Hearts 11/1)