The Europa League Round of 16 second legs are set to played, on Thursday, and plenty still needs to be figured out before the quarterfinal field is set. After seeing what has taken place in the Champions League, these past two weeks, no lead is safe and there is plenty of intrigue in the Europa League. Arsenal returns to Emirates in a 3-1 deficit against Ligue One side Rennes. The away goal will give Arsenal hope and there is still a decent shot they advance. Valencia head to Russia, to face Krasnodar, up 2-1, but a late away goal gives the Russian side hope of advancing through. Inter and Frankfurt head to Milan in a stalemate after drawing 0-0 in Germany, so there is plenty of doubt as to who will advance in this high powered affair.
There is plenty of value in Thursday’s games as there are some big named teams who still need to win to ensure they advance to the quarters.
Salzburg (+145) vs Napoli
The Austrian side need a huge night, having lost the first leg in Naples 3-0, but this is not a new task for Salzburg. They have won seven of 17 UEFA matchups where they lost the first match on the road. Salzburg also hasn’t lost at home, in the Europa League, since October 2016 and have scored at least three goals in their last six Europa League homes matches. Take Salzburg +145 in this one as I expect them to win, but not advance.
Slavia Prague (+270) vs Sevilla Draw
Slavia Prague are the surprise of the first legs as they went into Spain and came away with a 2-2 draw giving them a commanding advantage in this matchup. Sevilla’s only road victory, since January 10th, was a surprise 1-0 victory at Lazio in the Round of 32 games. They have lost five straight La Liga road games which include two matchups with relegation sides. Prague is unbeaten at home, in all competitions, since last August (13-0-2) and having not given up a goal at home in six straight will have the Czech slide feeling confident in this one. Slavia Prague defend most of this one, but keep another clean sheet and hit Sevilla on a counter, so take Slavia Prague at +270.
Inter Milan vs Eintracht Frankfurt Draw +240
I really like this Frankfurt team and thought they would win the first leg of this matchup, but that wasn’t the case. However, not allowing a road goal means there is all to play for in this one. I think both teams get on the board in this one and it ends 1-1, so Frankfurt will advance and eliminate Inter from the Europa League. Frankfurt has drawn six out of their last 10 games overall and four out of their last ten road games. Inter is good at home, but Frankfurt have the talent to stick with them in Milan. Take a draw at +240.