Man Utd & Arsenal Both +205 for Away Draws

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Harry Maguire

Manchester United's fine win in the EPL on Monday night at Chelsea (Harry Maguire here celebrating his goal) will see them head to Brugge with plenty of confidence. Photo By @ManUtd (Twitter)

  • It’s round-of-32 time this Thursday in the UEFA Europa League
  • Arsenal and Man Utd both plus-money to win away first legs
  • We look at three of the top games of the round in search of value

This week is round-of-32 time in the Europa League, with the continent’s second-biggest club competition throwing up its usual array of David vs Goliath match-ups. We’ll take a look at three of the biggest games and see if we can identify some value for the bettors.

Club Brugge vs Manchester United Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at BetOnline Total Odds to Advance
Club Brugge pk, +0.5   -129 +196 O 2.5   +101 +260
Manchester Utd pk -0.5   +109 +141 U 2.5   -121 -350
Draw N/A +205 N/A N/A

All odds taken Feb. 17

Manchester United predictably come into this one as narrow favorites to win the first leg in Brugges, and also as massive odds-on favorites to win the tie and progress, but both teams come into the game in good form.

Brugge arrives off the back of a good 2-1 win over Waasland-Beveren in the Belgian First Division, while United will be looking to follow up their 2-0 win in the EPL’s Monday night clash away at Chelsea.

But for Philippe Clement’s Brugge team, this could have been all so different. They are only in the Europa League as a result of them after crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage, where they failed to secure a win in the group stage and lost three of their last four matches. They did, however, lead Real Madrid 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeau before conceding two late goals to draw. Worth remembering.

United, whose route to the Europa League was the conventional one, were impressive in qualifying and finished top of Group L. Along the way, they suffered just one defeat in their six games and ended the group stages with an impressive 4-0 win over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

The Red Devils head to Belgium with their confidence high, having won three of their last four matches with clean sheets, but it has been a stop-start season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. This will be tough and if Brugge can rediscover the spirit of the Bernabeau they may even edge this, especially if they can get an early goal. The value, however, is with the draw.

Pick: Brugge and United to draw (+205)

2020 UEFA Europa League Championship Odds Tracker

Wolves vs Espanyol Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at BetOnline Total Odds to Advance
Wolves -0.5, -1.0   -142 -196 O 2.5   +102 -225
Espanyol +0.5, +1.0   +122 +480 U 2.5   -122 +185
Draw N/A +310 N/A N/A

It’s La Liga versus the EPL in Wolverhampton on Thursday at Molineux as two teams from Europe’s big leagues clash in this in the first-leg tie.

It’s been a funny season for Wolves who, in part due to the heavy Europa League schedule, struggled in the first half of the season to find the form that earned them this opportunity in the first place. But as it has progressed they have found their feet in both the EPL and this competition and are now among the favorites to win it.

Even more ominous for the Spanish team is that in the last few weeks, Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have been showing the exact same fluency and character that made so many sit up and take notice last season, and they’ll be hoping to take a comfortable lead back to Spain for the second leg.

Meanwhile, Los Periquitos have been struggling this term in the Spanish top flight and so, for them, this will be potentially a damage limitation exercise in the hope of heading back to the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat with something to play for. It’ll be tough though and Wolves could blow them away here.

Pick: Wolves to win 3-0

Olympiakos vs Arsenal Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at BetOnline Total Odds to Advance
Olympiakos pk, +0.5   -123 +210 O 2.5   -122 +275
Arsenal pk, -0.5   +103 +134 U 2.5   +102 -375
Draw N/A +205 N/A N/A

Arsenal comes into this tie off the back of some good form in recent weeks, with the move to sack Unai Emery and replace him with Mikel Arteta looking to have had the desired effect. The Gunners are playing with more belief and intensity and the Emirates is a much happier place as a result.

Olympiakos are now in the Europa League, like Club Brugge, as a result of a disappointing Champions League campaign in which they suffered four defeats and won just once – on the final matchday. As ever with Greek teams playing in European competition, their Achilles heel is very much playing away from home.

But, regardless, the Greeks are good to watch as they famously adopt an attacking style, which almost guarantees goals. The flip side, of course, is that this leaves them vulnerable at the back and they concede too many goals. In fact, Pedro Martins’ team has failed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five home games in all competitions.

Arsenal, who were finalists in last year’s Europa League and finished top of Group F this season, suffered just a single defeat in the group phase and will come into this with plenty of confidence, even playing away in Athens.

In their eight previous encounters, there have been four wins each, so while I expect there to be goals, it could be tricky to split these two. While I expect the Gunners to win over two legs, there’s value here in the draw.

Pick: Olympiakos and Arsenal to draw (+205)

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Gary Gowers

Soccer Sports Writer

Soccer

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