Europa League Tips: Round Of 32

With the top European leagues becoming more competitive we are seeing a stack of sides that were regularly in the Champions League being relegated to the Europa League competition. It has strengthened the Europa League as a result and with the winner now gaining automatic qualification to the Champions League we are seeing the bigger sides take it more seriously. Man Utd and Tottenham are two very good examples – both sides are in a real battle to make the top 4 of the EPL and this gives them an additional avenue to try and qualify for the coveted Champions League next season.

Europa League Round of 32 Previews

Man Utd v St Etienne – (Fri 5:00am)
Jose Mourinho is beginning to silence his critics and it should come as no surprise that he is doing it with his defensive style. Their 16 game undefeated run in the EPL has seen them close the gap to 4th place to just 2 points and there is now just 4 points between 2nd and 6th. They are now right in the mix for a spot in the UCL next season especially win a run of 4 very winnable games to follow. United has maintained clean sheets in their last 4 matches across all competitions and have been incredibly difficult to break down at Old Trafford. The headline story in this one is the clash of the Pogba brothers. Paul and Florentin will take their backyard battles onto the bog stage but the supporting cast of Paul is by far superior. Defensively Man Utd have been brilliant over the last month and Mourinho has definitely found a winning formula in the middle with Pogba, Herrera and Mkhitaryan. Mourinho’s focus will be on maintaining a clean sheet and The Wolf says we will be all over it.
Best: Teams To Score – Man Utd Only ($1.85)
Value: Under 2.5 & Man Utd ($3.00)

Gent v Tottenham – (Fri 5:00am)
Gent scraped through to the knockout stages with a 1-0 win in their final group game but The Wolf says alarm bells are ringing for them in this one. They were thumped in their two group games against Shakhtar 5-0 and 5-3 in back to back games. The Ukranian side are the only comparable opponent to Spurs and if they conceded 10 in 2 against them we can only imagine what Tottenham will do to them. Wolfy believes that Pochettino will play a full strength side in this one and leave it up to the reserves in their FA Cup clash against Fulham which follows. Spurs were caught off guard early at Anfield and that will not be happening in this one. Tottenham will control the tempo early before Eriksen and Dele Alli have an absolute field day in the middle of the park.
Best: Tottenham WIN ($1.83)
Value: Over 2.5 goals & Tottenham ($2.75)

PAOK v Schalke – (Fri 5:00am)
Schalke were virtually flawless in the group stage winning their first 5 games on the back of 9 goals scored and just the one conceded. The Wolf says to disregard their loss in the final game as they played a second string side after having locked in top spot. For PAOK, the highlight was without doubt a 3-1 win in Italy against Fiorentina. The Greek side have lost just 1 of their last 10 at home in this competition and have kept their opposition scoreless in 8 of those 10 games – a remarkable record. If Schalke’s draw away to Bayern Munich in the league a fortnight ago is anything to go by holding them out will not be easy. The Wolf has says there is no question as to who is the quality side but insists that Schalke will be happy to take a draw with them back home. This one will be more like a war than a battle. Unders!
Best: Under 2.5 goals ($1.61)
Value: Under 2.5 goals & Draw ($3.30)

Villarreal v Roma – (Fri 5:00am)
This shapes as one of the toughest ties in the round of 32. Both sides bring impressive form across all of their respective competitions into this one. The battle for the Serie A title looked all but done tow months ago when Roma lost to Juventus but 6 wins in their 7 league games since has allowed them to stay within striking distance. The same can be said about Villarreal who have lost just 1 of their last 9 in La Liga and are 6 points away from 4th spot. As good as they have been in the league they have leaked goals in Europa where they have failed to maintain a clean sheet in their last 7. Roma have a real edge in attack with Dzeko providing the ideal target for El Shaarawy, De Rossi and Strotman. Unlike the bookies The Wolf is expecting goals!
Best: Both Teams To Score – YES ($1.72)
Value: Over 2.5 goals ($2.05)

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