- The Europa League round of 32 proceeds on Wednesday, after the first leg of matches concluded last week
- Ajax will look to complete the comeback after losing 2-0 to Getafe in the first leg, while Arsenal will seek a crucial home victory over Olympiakos after winning 1-0 in Greece last Thursday
- Get the odds, picks, and betting preview for three of the most tantalizing fixtures
After an excitement-filled first leg of the Europa League round of 32 last Thursday, we head into this week with numerous interesting clashes. Manchester United played to a draw in Belgium last week against Club Brugge and will be seeking a much-needed win at Old Trafford on Thursday. Spanish standouts Sevilla surprisingly tied Romanian side CFR Cluj last week, but have the advantage of playing at home in the second leg.
Let’s check out three matches slated for this week as 16 teams look to book their ticket to the next round in Europa League football.
Manchester United vs Club Brugge Odds
|Manchester United||-1,-1.5 (+109)||-213||Ov 2,2.5 (-119)|
|Club Brugge||+1,+1.5 (-129)||+540||Un 2,2.5 (-101)|
All odds taken Feb. 25
The Red Devils have been relatively distraught this season, but lately, their form has definitely improved. They haven’t lost in all competitions since January 22nd when Burnley beat them 2-0. During a span of six matches, they’ve won four times and tied twice. They’re fresh off a huge win over Watford on the weekend, burying them 3-0 and will look to carry that momentum into this mid-week fixture.
Last week in Brugge, Man United struggled to keep their Belgian opponents at bay early on, conceding an opener in the 15th minute. But Anthony Martial fired back just before the half in prolific fashion to put the Red Devils level. Mason Greenwood is a player to watch for Man United in this competition, having already scored four times in Europa League play this term.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 25, 2020
Club Brugge crashed out of the Champions League group stage and right into Europa League. They put forward a very impressive performance at home last week, creating a lot of havoc on the attack against their English opponents. They didn’t look outmatched at all and should put up a solid fight in the second leg this Thursday. Emmanuel Bonaventure was a real problem for the United backline in the first leg, scoring their only goal and coming close numerous times to bagging yet another tally.
I do think Solksjaer’s side will come out victorious and advance to the last 16, however, it won’t be an easy task. Harry Maguire and the rest of the Red Devils defense must be sharp because Bonaventure proved last week that he will capitalize if they slip up. But in the end, United will secure the home victory, winning 2-1.
Pick: Manchester United -213
Celtic vs FC Copenhagen Odds
|Celtic||-1 (-122)||-213||Ov 2,2.5 (-110)|
|FC Copenhagen||+1 (+102)||+560||Un 2,2.5 (-110)|
Scottish powerhouse Celtic has been absolutely unstoppable in domestic play this season, losing just twice while scoring 82 goals in just 28 matches. They also enjoyed an impressive group stage in Europa League, going 4-1-1, finishing first in Group E. However, their round of 32 opponent, FC Copenhagen, put up a very strong fight last week as the two played to a 1-1 draw in Denmark. Celtic will be looking to advance to the round of 16 of Europa League for the first time if they can secure a win in Glasgow.
Copenhagen just snuck into the round of 32 out of Group B, but they made their presence felt on home soil last week. They controlled 56 percent of the possession against their Scottish counterparts, but generated just two shots on target, with one going in the back of the net. They’ve scored just six goals in seven Europa League fixtures this term but regardless, are still in the competition with the opportunity to advance.
Although these two sides head into the second leg in a 1-1 tie, Celtic has been just too powerful this season. They’ve lost just once at home all year and I don’t expect them to lose to Copenhagen in this decisive fixture.
Pick: Celtic 2-0
Arsenal vs Olympiakos Odds
|Arsenal||-1 (-116)||-196||Ov 2.5,3 (-102)|
|Olympiakos||+1 (-104)||+460||Un 2.5,3 (-118)|
Arsenal heads back to the Emirates after a vital win over their Greek opponents on the road last week. In a relatively even game, the Gunners capitalized in the 81st minute when Alexandre Lacazette bagged a crucial away goal to give Mikel Arteta’s side a 1-0 victory. Arsenal hasn’t lost in their last ten matches, however, four of those have been draws. To boot, Arteta’s squad has won three of four clashes with Olympiakos on home soil.
Olympiakos played very well last week against Arsenal, but they couldn’t finish. It will be a daunting task heading on the road though because they’ve won just once in their last 11 European ties away from Karaiskakis Stadium. After being knocked out of the Champions League, the Greeks were handed a very tough opponent in the Gunners, but their European lifeline isn’t over yet if they can score two goals at the Emirates and keep Arsenal scoreless in the process.
Arsenal is in arguably the best form of their season right now, failing to lose a match since December 29th. With that in mind, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here.