A mix of far-flung destinations, unknown quantities and emerging teams combines to make the Europa League a uniquely exciting event, and the tournament continues to provide a compelling undercard to the Champions League.
Europe’s secondary club competition takes centre-stage again on Thursday with a bumper fixture programme laden with potentially thrilling contests.
To add some extra spice to proceedings, we’ve scoured Betfair’s #OddsOnThat and specials to bring you some of our favourite selections from their UEL offerings – and remember, we have betting tips and analysis for the games on our Europa League predictions page.
What is Betfair’s #OddsOnThat?
Betfair’s #OddsOnThat feature allows you create a customised multiples bet based on your own unique picks ahead of a particular football match.
You can choose from a huge variety of markets and once you have decided on your selection, you can request a price for your acca from Betfair on Twitter using the #OddsOnThat hashtag.
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Best Europa League #OddsOnThat tips
71+ Goals scored in Thursday’s 5.55pm & 8pm UEFA Europa League Matches
Odds: Evens (1/1)
Last week, the Europa League’s match-day two programme produced a meaty 65 goals across its 24 fixtures, with big victories for Wolfsberger, Red Star Belgrade, Hoffenheim and AZ helping to pad out the impressive numbers.
On Thursday, match-day three sees several of the competition’s biggest hitters, including Roma, Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham, Arsenal, Villarreal and Hoffenheim again enter games they will expect to win with relative ease, and we think there is a chance the goals will flow.
For our pick to land, an average of 3.0 goals must hit the net per game on Thursday – a figure that is only slightly higher than the average goals per match stat from last season’s Europa League tournament overall (2.78).
Any 3 of Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Paco Alcacer & Andrej Kramaric to score 1+ Goals
Leicester City, Villarreal and Hoffenheim each have winnable looking home matches to navigate on Thursday against Sporting Braga, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Slovan Liberec respectively, and all three favourites have in-form attackers ready to fire them to glory.
With eight goals in his last seven appearances, the evergreen Jamie Vardy is in the midst of a blisteringly hot-streak, while his Foxes’ teammate James Maddison got off the mark for the first time this season against Leeds United on Monday.
Spanish international Paco Alcacar – who notched seven times in his last seven run outs – has really hit the groove for Villarreal in recent weeks, and the 27-year-old looks a prime candidate to find the net again when the Yellow Submarine aim to make waves against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Andrej Kramaric meanwhile, plundered an eye-watering eight goals in his last four starts for Hoffenheim – a streak that included a super brace against Bayern Munich – and the Croatian forward will be looking to swell his numbers further against Slovan Liberec in Germany.
We need just three of the aforementioned stars to get in on the act for our tip to land.
No Own goals scored in Thursday’s 5.55pm & 8pm UEFA Europa League matches
Ok…this one has a more unusual feel. Betfair will pay out at 13/5 odds on Thursday if NO own goals are scored across the evening’s 24 Europa League fixtures – and the evidence suggests this could be one worth watching.
Last week, on match day two, the unfortunate Olivier Verdon scored the evening’s only own goal when he put through his own net in LASK’s 4-3 win over Ludogorets.
Seven days earlier, in a remarkable coincidence, LASK hit the only own goal registered on match day one, when Andres Andrade hit the net at the wrong end in the Austrians’ 3-0 reverse at Spurs.
With a total of just two own goals in 48 Group Stage fixtures so far, sporting self-harm has been sparse in the UEL, making the 13/5 odds on none being scored this week a tempting price.
Jamie Vardy & Zlatan Ibrahimovic both score in the first 10 mins
As we detailed above, Jamie Vardy has been in electric form for Leicester City of late, and the Foxes’ talismanic veteran rattled home a phenomenal eight goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions.
Despite his advancing years, Vardy continues to excel for Leicester, and about 900 miles east in Northern Italy, another seasoned campaigner – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – is making a similar impact.
The 39-year-old Swedish superstar has scored seven times in six starts for AC Milan this term, and the ex-Man Utd, Barcelona and PSG frontman will be targeting more final third success against Lille on Thursday.
Vardy will be training his sights on Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga, and if he and Ibrahimovic get their respective teams off to a flying start on Thursday by scoring inside 10 minutes, Betfair will pay out at enormous 175/1 odds.