Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Europa League football is back this week with an action-packed programme of Last 16 second leg fixtures scheduled to be played across the continent on Thursday.
Across Europe, the competition’s expert goal-getters and poachers will be hoping that they can be the game-changers and difference makers in their teams’ pursuit of victory and qualification.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the players worth keeping an eye on in the anytime goalscorer markets in the Europa League this week.
Munas Dabbur – 11/10 (RED BULL SALZBURG vs Napoli)
Having lost the first leg of their Europa League Last 16 clash 3-0 in Italy last week, RB Salzburg will be aiming to restore some pride in the second leg against Napoli in Austria on Thursday.
Israeli striker Munas Dabbur will be leading the charge for the Austrian champions and current runaway league leaders this week, and the prolific 26-year old has already scored 7 goals in 9 Europa League starts this season.
It’s interesting to note that 71% of Dabbur’s UEL goals were plundered at the Red Bull Arena, which strongly suggests that the centre-forward prefers playing in more familiar surroundings.
Having secured a healthy first leg lead, Napoli could choose to shuffle their pack for the return game in Austria, and that should in turn increase the home teams’ chances of getting something from the contest.
Considering the factors at play, Dabbur looks a great bet at 11/10 with bet365 to make his mark at the Red Bull Arena again.
Alexandre Lacazette – 5/6 (ARSENAL vs Rennes)
With Arsenal trailing Rennes 3-1 from the teams’ dramatic Europa League Last 16 first leg clash in France last week, Unai Emery is certain to roll out the big guns on Thursday in an attempt to turn the tie around.
French attacker Alexandre Lacazette sat out Arsenal’s embarrassing defeat in Rennes through suspension, though the 27-year old is available again having had the length of that ban cut from 3 games to 2 following a UEFA review.
With 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 6 games, Lacazette comes into Thursday’s crucial clash in fine form. The Frenchman has scored 14 times in just 23 starts for the Gunners in total this season, and we’re backing him to add to his tally this week.
Arsenal have been superb at the Emirates this season, and with the Gunners expected to play the majority of Thursday’s game on the front foot, Lacazette is priced brilliantly at 5/6 with bet365 to score anytime.
Jonas – 10/11 (BENFICA vs Dinamo Zagreb)
Benfica will have to use all of their powers of recovery to overturn their 0-1 first leg deficit against Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb in Portugal on Thursday.
The Portuguese giants will be buoyed by the fact that they are used to scoring goals by the bucketful at Estádio da Luz. Benfica rattled the net 23 times in their last 6 games at the venue alone, and the Eagles have lost just once in 14 matches there since early November.
Veteran striker Jonas will be aiming to be Benfica’s difference-maker this week. The 34-year old hit the net 8 times in his last 10 appearances for his club, and 6 of those goals were scored at the Estádio da Luz.
Jonas will be central to Benfica’s chances of success again on Thursday, and he is well worth considering in the anytime goalscorer market at 10/11 with bet365.
Milan Skoda – 21/10 (SLAVIA PRAGUE vs Sevilla)
Slavia Prague surprised most of Europe when they battled their way to a 2-2 draw at Sevilla last week in the teams’ UEL Last 16 skirmish at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
Veteran striker Milan Skoda came off the bench with 20 minutes to play in Spain, though the expert chance converter will expect to play a prominent role in the Czech Republic this week.
Skoda is Slavia’s second highest goalscorer this season having scored 8 goals in just 11 starts for the club. The 33-year old is quite often content to play the role of super-sub, though his goal threat remains consistent whenever or however he features.
Skoda has scored 5 times in his last 5 appearances for Slavia, and the 18 times capped former Czech Republic international is priced generously at 21/10 by bet365 to extend his goalscoring streak this week.
Ferreira Ari – 11/5 (KRASNODAR vs Valencia)
A little over 2,000 kilometres east of Prague on the edge of Russia, another veteran striker will be desperate to make an impact against Spanish opposition in the Europa League.
33-year old Krasnodar centre-forward Ari was named on the substitutes bench in Valencia last week, though the Brazilian played 35 minutes of the second period.
With Krasnodar trailing the La Liga side 2-1 from the first leg of the sides’ double header, the club’s leading marksman Ari will likely play from the start in Russia this week.
Ari has scored 9 times in 17 appearance for Krasnodar this term, and 2 of those goals were registered in the striker’s 4 Europa League starts.
Krasnodar will look to the former AZ and Spartak Moscow star to provide the finishing touches to their attacking play again this week, and we think Ari looks a cracking price at 11/5 with bet365 to score anytime.
A 5-fold accumulator featuring out Anytime Goalscorer selections above pays out at a huge 70/1 with bet365! Click the banner below to back that acca now. Good luck!
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