Daniel Sturridge believes his Liverpool side can win Europa League and tipsters are left wondering whether the striker thinks so because of an ever increasing form Liverpool seem to be gaining or the fact that UEFA will be giving a Champions League place to the winner of the competition. Anfield Road will open its doors to Besiktas once again after that memorable 8-0 win from 2008, which the visitors might be keen to avenge.
Ever since losing to Chelsea in the League One Cup, Liverpool have been on an unbeaten run of 5 matches, with four wins and one draw. The Reds come after a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and are 7th in Premier League, which makes Europa League their best chance at a proper sending off for Steven Gerrard. Liverpool are also in a good place mood wise after the win against Tottenham where they managed to rally around Dembele’s 2-2 equalizer to have Balotelli score the winner on the 83 minute. Flanagan and Jones will miss the match, while Sterling and Gerrard are under doubt and about to be submitted to a fitness test.
Besiktas are leading the Süper Lig with one point advantage over Fenerbahce and two from Galatasaray. The visitors have good experience on the European stage where they were denied the Champions League football by another English team. In their domestic league, Besiktas come from an important win over Bursaspor where Demba Ba scored, Besiktas Europa League goalscorer with 5 goals, the winner in the last minutes of the game. The visitors got an injury blow right after the match when they got the news that their goalkeeper will miss one month of competitions after getting a ligament injury.
Demba Ba knows a lot about Liverpool or English football in general and with a point to prove after being left out of Senegal’s’ squad for the AFCON, expect him and Töre to make it difficult for the Reds even with Anfield’s support system. Liverpool conceded two goals from Tottenham in Premier League, Besiktas only one in Europa League which is why it’s kind of strange as to why Besiktas has been given 6.25 odds to win as opposed to Liverpool’s 1.57.
If Anfield is the clout Liverpool need in order to qualify then expect them to score more than a goal while avoiding an away Besiktas goal. Liverpool have 2.40 odds for both halves, Besiktas 11.00 and both teams to score and over 2.5 goals has 2.55 odds. Besiktas as the last team to score has 3.25 odds, Liverpool 1.48 and we’re betting 7 units on Demba Ba to score with 3.35 odds from Titan Bet. For Liverpool, Liverpool has 2.15 odds to score, Balotelli 2.35, Sterling 2.50 and Lambert 2.70. For Besiktas Tosun and Sahan have 4.20 odds to score, Pekmetek has 4.50, and Koybasi, Sosa, Koyunlu and Ozyakup all have 5.75 odds to score anytime with the same bookie.
Two of the most wanted Champions League opponents were pitted against each other as FC Basel host FC Porto in the first leg of Champions League’s last 16. FC Porto were tipped by some to become this year’s surprise for the knockout stages, but don’t forget Basel’s results in the group stage against Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Basel are leaders in their domestic competition with an advantage of eight points over Young Boys. They are unbeaten in nine matches, and the latest Super League result is a 1-1 draw against Sion. FC Basel finished their group behind tournament leaders Real Madrid, with 7 points out of six matches. The hosts have a good record against teams from Portugal where they managed to win in 2013 with 3-0 against Sporting and it would be wise to remember just how well Basel have been performing at home where they won against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United in recent years and conceded just one goal from Real Madrid. Schär will serve his suspension which could see Walter Samuel replace him.
FC Porto do not seem to have any injury worries, which of course means Maicon will lead the backline. Casemiro is expected to start right behind Martinez, in a front line made of Quaresma, Brahimi and Martinez. The visitors won their group after four wins and two draws, and will come into the game with the chance to score away goals to help them for the return leg. They will aim for a quarter finals qualification for the first time since 2009, and their squad allows them to make such predictions. Porto has one defeat in their last five away games in all competitions, and they are pretty solid at the back as in the aforementioned games they only managed to concede four goals.
Since this is only the first leg, both teams might try a game on the safe side, which could very well end in a draw at 3.00 with William Hill. Embolo and Streller both have 2.90 odds to score for Basel, while for Porto Tello and Brahimi have 3.00 to score anytime. Martinez is your main choice for the goalscorer market with 2.30 odds, and even the headline markets for the match are: Gashi to score and Basel to win with 9.00 odds and Martinez to score and Porto to win with 4.50 odds. A Basel win has 3.20 odds, and we’re betting 7 units on a Porto win with 2.40 odds from William Hill.
Arsenal London are on course of defending their FA Cup title as they get ready to host Middlesbrough on Emirates. The visitors may as well be called the revelation of this tournament after they managed to win against Manchester City by displaying a fighting spirit the Premier League champions lacked completely.
Middlesbrough have Ayala and Carayol under doubt, while in a recent press conference Arsene Wenger said Wilshere is motivated to return to the team and Alexis is under doubt. Gabriel might make his debut, but if Arsenal decide to field the same starting eleven that managed to save them the blushes in Premier League against Leicester. We could see Ozil score or assist another goal. The visitors are on the first place in Championship, have an unbeaten run of 10 matches, six of which are back to back wins.
Lee Tomlin relishes in the chance to be up against some of his favorite players, and right after Kompany and Aguero: “Sanchez, Cazorla and Ozil,” he says with excitement. “They’re my kind of players.” Adam Clayton stated the match against Man City was way too easy and expects some more resistance from Arsenal, which is something natural seeing as the Gunners won 8 matches at the Emirates and conceded just three goals. If Szczesny starts in the goal, he will be poised to keep a clean sheet, but it remains to be seen whether Middlesbrough’s Leadbitter will agree with this, seeing as he’s the visitors’ main goalscorer.
Both Arsenal and Middlesbrough won with the same score against Man City: 2-0, but this team the hosts have built this season is one of the strongest they have had in recent years, and even amidst many injury scares, an in form Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez can decide a match on their own any day of the week. The hosts have had a relatively easy run so far in the competition and perhaps Middlesbrough will be their first real test, where the Gunners might want to tighten up the defensive line in the last 15 minutes to avoid late heartbreak. If Sanchez will be fit enough to play, maybe Welbeck could start up front, as Giroud has not been a fan or tipster favorite in recent games.
Arsenal have 1.20 odds to qualify, Middlesbrough 4.10 which is far better than their odds to win, which Ladbrokes has set to 7.00. The Gunners have 1.44 odds to win; 1.36 to score first and 2.05 for both halves. Giroud has 2.00 odds to score, Sanchez 2.15, Welbeck 2,30 and Akpom with Walcott both have 2.62 in the same market. For Middlesbrough, the goalscorer betting market looks like this: Bamford has 4.75 odds to score, Vossen and Kike 5.00, while Leadbitter and Tomlin both have 6.00 odds to score. We are going to bet 7 units on both teams to score and Arsenal to win with 3.10 odds from Ladbrokes.
Bayer Leverkusen will try to get back in the shape they used to have before New Year, and they intend to do so in the match against the second placed Bundesliga team. For one player of the visitors this match will have extra meaning as Andre Schürrle, recently returned to Bundesliga action as a Wolfsburg man will have to score against one of his former teams.
Wolfsburg are on an unbeaten run since November of last year when they lost against Everton. Schürrle is already having a great impact on the team’s style of play as he and De Bruyne, both create and convert the scoring chances. Against Hoffenheim Wolfsburg kept a clean sheet and Schürrle assisted two of the goals. Wolfsburg are eight points behind Bayern Munich and while they looks solid, recent history has shown they have the tendency to fizzle out quickly. A case to study would be the match against Frankfurt where the Wolves were unable to count for much apart from having two shots on target, once of which De Bruyne converted in a goal on the 88th minute.
Bayer Leverkusen are sixth in Bundesliga, nine points behind Wolfsburg and inconsistent results lately. Despite being one of the teams to represent Germany in Champions League’s last 16, they only have one win in three Bundesliga matches. Their latest result is an unexpected loss against Werder Bremen where only Calhanoglu managed to salvage some of the pride Leverkusen were supposed to display in the attack. Kiessling is almost absent and only Bellarabi intends to score. Notice the fact that the hosts managed to score five goals in seven games, but are still conserving their unbeaten run on home soil.
Toprak, Wendell and Kruse will be missing for Bayer Leverkusen while Perisic is under doubt for Wolfsburg. The head to head results between the two are in favor of the visitors, however, their good results on Bay Arena are not that good, they never won there. Unibet give the edge to the hosts to win with 2.30 odds, Wolfsburg got 3.00 and a draw has 3.40 odds. Both teams to score has 1.50 odds, Bellarabi and Brandt have 3.30 odds to score, Bas Dost 2.85, De Bruyne 3.75 and Schürrle 4.10 odds. Bayer Leverkusen to win at least one half has 1.58 odds, Wolfsburg 1.87 and the possibility of a red card has 4.75 odds. We are going to bet 5 units on De Bruyne as an anytime goalscorer with odds from Unibet.
Paris Saint Germain return to Coupe de France against Nantes, a team they have a good record against even if this match will be their third this month. Nantes edged Lyon in the previous round with an unexpected 3-2, while PSG overcame Bordeaux.
In Ligue1, PSG are fresh off a clash with title hopefuls Lyon, where it took Ibrahimovic a penalty to level the score. However, Matuidi feels his team deserved to win, despite Lyon’s goalkeeper being in one of his finest forms. “We deserved to win, but luck wasn’t on our side. We played well. We played some good football. We were up against an excellent goalkeeper and he should be congratulated,” he told reporters. What PSG need to do now that Champions League is just around the corner is be more clinical in front of the goal. Their last three games prior to said draw against Lyon were identical 1-0 wins and they tend to keep it late to score unless they are being led on the table which is why goals in the second half could be your shoe in bet.
Nantes is 9th in Ligue 1, and looking at their results with only one win in five matches in all competitions and against Nice they managed to keep a clean sheet. Their manager is confident in his team’s abilities to at least frustrate PSG to a draw during regular time. Gapke was once again left out of the squad and Bammou was pushed up front seeing as the striker has now 23 goals scored in Ligue 1. Nantes usually start with four at the back and two defensive midfielders, which allows the general midfield area much more space for creating goalscoring chances.
PSG are going on 30 matches of being undefeated in Coupe de France and in the last six matches against Nantes they managed to score at least two goals, which is why Titan Bet has 1.75 odds for over 2.5 goals per match. Taking into account that PSG also won the last eight matches against Nantes it’s no wonder why they have 1.35 odds to win, as opposed to Nantes 8.50. Nantes have 4.20 odds to win either half, PSG got 1.22 and the first half with the majority of goals has 2.87 odds. We are betting 7 units on PSG to score in both halves with 2.15 odds from Titan Bet, mainly because they have the talent and should find their scoring boots.
Hull City got a much needed confidence boost during the weekend as they held the Premier League champions to a 1-1 draw that gives them hope in the battle to avoid relegation. For the 25th matchday Hull City will host Aston Villa in a fight for survival that could either give Aston Villa an advantage or take Hull City out of the relegation zone.
The hosts were losing four matches in a row prior to the clash against Manchester City that was deemed finished before it even started. Only that Meyler scored a wonder 35th minute goal and the champions were left stunned and unable to provide a comeback despite having both Dzeko and Aguero on the pitch. It took James Milner’s goal on the 92 minute to give the Citizens an undeserved draw and Hull City the confidence they can do better. Diame, Chester and Rosenoir are all set to miss the match due to injuries and it will take Livermore in a great form to lead once again the team from the midfield area.
Aston Villa are looking out of their element in this Premier League season with only 22 points out of 24 matches and no win in their last nine games. Fortunately they only have Senderos and Kozak injured while Delph, Cleverley, Carles Gil and Agbonlahor are expected to push Villa forward on the table. The visitors managed to score only four goals in 12 away matches this season, while managing to concede 17. If Aston Villa only managed to lose 1-2 against Chelsea, the trip to Emirates saw them lose with 0-5 against Arsenal London.
Hull City may not have a good track record against Aston Villa, but Bet365 still favors them to win and gives the hosts 2.30 to win, the visitors got 3.50 and a draw has 3.25. Aston Villa with a +0,5 handicap has 2.00 odds, Hull City with a -0,5 one 1.92 and Hernandez got 3.00 odds to score anytime. N’Doye, Jelavic and Aluko got 3.10 odds to score, Benteke got 3.60 and we’re betting 7 units on both teams to score with 2.10 odds from Bet365.
Steven Gerrard’s last Meyerside derby potential win is under doubt after Everton vowed to break the winless run against local rivals by claiming the first three points since 2010. Liverpool’s captain is so foar the best goalscorer these derbies have seen with 10 goals in over 30 games. The bookies also favor the Reds to win and the real question seems to be who will score first.
Tim Howard and Osman are sure to miss the match against Liverpool, McCarty is under doubt while Atsu is helping Ghana win the AFCON 2015. Everton are 12th in Premier League and were specializing in draws prior to losing against West Ham in the FA Cup. The win came last Saturday against Crystal Palace after Lukaku scored the only goal of the match as early as the second minute. The hosts can’t seem to win at Goodison Park in four matches, the latest one dates back to December in the 3-1 win over QPR. Much of the match will be decided if the respective strikers will be in good form, and it is yet unclear whether Sturridge will start or come later on to boost Liverpool’s scoring chances.
The visitors are pushing for another Champions League qualification, which they are confident of achieving. The Reds have had a clean sheet in the last three games away from Anfield and another one has 2.90 odds from Titan Bet. Liverpool had a horrendous start to the season, but they have picked up form recently and are coming into the derby just 5 points behind the last Champions League place. Leiva, Markovic and Lallana are under doubt for the derby and while Kolo Toure is taking part in the AFCON, Henderson could get a starting spot.
The matches between the two teams usually have a lot of goals, like the 4-0 Liverpool win from 2014 or the 3-3 draw from 2013. Liverpool have also scored at least two goals in the last three matches at Goodison Park, which is why over 2.5 goals with 1.85 odds looks like a bet with value. An outright Liverpool win has 2.20 odds, an Everton win 3.30 same odds as a potential draw. Under 5.5 bookings has 1.92 odds and a Lukaku goal 2.95. Sturridge is also the frontrunner in the goalscorer betting market for Liverpool with 2.60 odds while Sterling and Balotelli both have 2.95 odds. We are going to bet 8 units on Liverpool scoring over 1.5 goals with 2.10 odds form Titan Bet.