UEFA Europa League Playoff Odds: Second Leg
Drama Expected on Thursday
Barcelona and Manchester United All Square
The first legs of the Europa League Playoff were often drama filled and expect more of the same come Thursday. Eight round of 16 berths are on the line on Thursday and many are by no means sealed after the first leg matchups. That includes the blockbuster fixture between Manchester United and Barcelona which is currently level at two. In fact, four of the eight first leg matchups ended in first leg draws. We’ll take a look at the crucial Thursday matches as we review the Europa League Playoff odds.
Playoff Leg 1 Recap:
Barcelona vs. Manchester United was the highest-profile match of last Thursday and it was full of excitement. Man United got an important 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou and a win at Old Trafford will be enough for the Red Devils to go through. Another of the most surprising UEFA fixtures and results was Sevilla’s 3-0 win over PSV. Los Sevillistas have had a difficult season to this point but always seem to pick things up in the Europa League.
Meanwhile, Juventus were controversially denied a last-minute penalty by VAR in their 1-1 draw vs. Nantes. Now, they’ll need to get a result on the road in France to stay alive in the competition. Bayer Leverkusen will have certainly been disappointed by conceding a late lead at home.
Bayer led 2-1 over Monaco with just over 15 minutes to go. However, Krepin Diatta and Axel Disasi secured a huge comeback win for Monaco. Sporting also got a dramatic stoppage time equalizer vs. Midtjylland and are favored to go through, even on the road.
RB Salzburg got the job done at home by defeating Roma 1-0. Don’t count out Jose Mourinho’s Giallorossi, though. They’re playing at home on Thursday and are the defending UEFA Europa Conference League champions.
Despite losing Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea in January, Shakhtar Donetsk got a 2-1 win over Rennes in the first leg of their round of 16 matchup. Last but not least, Bundesliga contenders Union Berlin managed to grab a scoreless draw at Ajax.
It’s also crucial that bettors know that the away goals rule was scrapped a couple of years ago. So, if a fixture finishes level over two legs, it will go into extra time no matter what.
Match of the Week
Manchester United avoided defeat at the Camp Nou for the first time in the last four matches vs. Barcelona last Thursday. Now, they have a decent shot to go on and knock out one of the Europa League favorites.
Barcelona’s task is now even tougher without star midfielder Pedri, who is out for the next few weeks. Man United’s Marcus Rashford has played like a man possessed over the last few months as well. The forward has scored in each of United’s last five games and has 24 goals this season already, in all competitions. His previous single-season high was 22.
Given excellent recent form, Pedri’s injury and Rashford’s scoring run, Manchester United are +130 favorites to win on Thursday. It’s rare that Barcelona have been underdogs this season but the Europa League Playoff odds price them at +205.
In this pick’em, Man U sit at -150 odds to cover, while Barcelona come in at +120 ATS odds. Another draw displays +240 odds and it would mean extra time. Regardless, Manchester United show -150 odds to go through and Barcelona are priced at +120 odds to advance.
Bettors should know that Manchester United are unbeaten at home since September. They’ve found a groove under Erik ten Hag and won 3-0 over Leicester City on Sunday. Barcelona picked up a 2-0 win of their own as Sergi Roberto and Robert Lewandowski got on the scoresheet.
Barcelona may need a big performance from Lewandowski here, especially with Pedri and Ousmane Dembele out. This match is expected to be another high scoring one, as over 2½ goals come in at a -120 price.
All Other Matches
PSV have no choice here but to throw the kitchen sink at Sevilla. They’re down three goals and need a miracle to go through. PSV’s record of advancing after losing the first leg of a UEFA knockout stage tie is abysmal in recent times too.
They’ve failed to advance on the last eight such occasions. They were the highest-scoring team in the group stage though and can’t be completely counted out.
They’re ½-goal favorites and show +110 odds to cover and win. Sevilla enter the match as -140 favorites to draw or win the match, which they’d be ecstatic with. The visitors display +230 odds to win and a draw sits at +265 odds.
The last meeting was the first-ever between the two sides and Lucas Ocampos played a big role for Sevilla. The substitute scored and assisted after coming on. Still, Sevilla haven’t won any of their last nine European matches away from home. In a match where PSV need a lot of goals to go through, over 2½ goals are priced at -120 odds. Sevilla are also massive favorites to qualify for the round of 16, at -2000 odds.
Ludovic Blas scored with Nantes’ only shot on target to help the visitors snag a 1-1 draw vs. Juventus last Thursday. Nantes will host Juventus on Thursday with an opportunity to advance to a European round of 16 for the first time since 2001.
Juventus lost their only previous match at Nantes, in 1996, and have been eliminated in their last four UEFA knockout stage fixtures. Still, the visitors are ½-goal favorites and display -120 ATS and moneyline odds. They’ve won four of their last five matches, in all competitions, and conceded just one goal during that time.
Nantes have also drawn more matches than they’ve won at home this season in Ligue 1. The defending Coupe de France champions sit at -110 odds to draw or win the match and show just +360 odds to win. Under 2½ goals are favored to occur once again, at -150 odds.
A draw would send this fixture into extra time and the UEFA odds price one at +245 odds. Juve enter Thursday’s match as -280 favorites to qualify but have won just one of their last nine UEFA matches.
Midtjylland vs Sporting
Date & Time:
Danish club FC Midtjylland nearly pulled off a big upset on the road in Lisbon last Thursday. Sporting goalie Antonio Adan made a grave error on a pass that led to a Midtjylland second half goal. Then, Sporting’s Sebastian Coates equalized with what was virtually the last kick of the match.
A win from either side will be enough to go through on Thursday now and they’ll both be hoping to buck recent trends. Midtjylland have never won the second leg of a European knockout fixture, while Sporting have won just one of their last 18 away matches in UEFA knockout stages.
It is Sporting who are favored to win on Thursday, at -120 ATS and moneyline odds. Hosts Midtjylland come in at +325 odds to win and they’ve never beaten Sporting in three previous meetings. Midtjylland +½ also displays -110 odds. Prior to last Thursday’s match, Midtjylland hadn’t played in a competitive match since November due to the Danish Superliga’s Winter break.
They did defeat Viborg 4-0 on Sunday in their first Superliga match back. Sporting are having a down year at fourth in the Primeira Liga. Still, they’ve averaged over two goals per game in the Primeira Liga, yet under 2½ comes in at a -120 price. A draw, which would send this fixture into extra time, shows +265 odds.
With five consecutive wins in all competitions, AS Monaco have been one of the hottest European teams in recent weeks. Monaco bettors may also take solace in the fact that they’ve advanced on all 10 occasions they’ve won the first leg of a European tie away from home. After a 3-2 win in the first leg, they enter the match at -400 odds to qualify.
They also hold a favorable 4-2-1 record all-time vs. Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen will be hoping Moussa Diaby returns from injury in time for Thursday’s match. In any case, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen are +½ goal underdogs but do come in at -155 odds to cover.
Monaco haven’t lost at home in a UEFA knockout stage match since 1996 and show +125 ATS and moneyline odds. They have a whole bunch of dangerous attacking weapons to call on, like Wissam Ben Yedder, Breel Embolo, Eliesse Ben Seghir and Takumi Minamino.
Bayer Leverkusen’s precocious teenager Florian Wirtz can make things happen too. Leverkusen need a win here and they show +195 odds to do exactly that. A draw only helps Monaco and displays +270 odds. Meanwhile, over 2½ goals show -140 odds to happen once again.
All of Union Berlin’s seven matches in the Europa League thus far have ended with one goal or scoreless. It’s no surprise that under 2½ goals display -135 odds for Thursday’s meeting with Ajax. Last Thursday finished scoreless in an excellent result for Union in Amsterdam.
Union Berlin, who have kept a clean sheet in their last five Europa League matches, are ½-goal favorites for the reverse fixture. The German Bundesliga contenders show both a +120 ATS and moneyline price.
Both Ajax and Union Berlin are unbeaten since November. Since John Heitinga took over as Ajax manager, they are 5-1-0 in all competitions. The visitors are +245 underdogs for Thursday’s match, though. Ajax +½ does come in at -150 odds and this is implied to be the most likely matchup to finish in another draw. A deadlock sits at +225 odds and would mean extra time.
It could take just one moment of brilliance to win what’s expected to be a very tight matchup. Note that Union haven’t lost at home since September, though. The Europa League Playoff odds list Union at -155 odds to advance to the round of 16.
Roma might be down vs. RB Salzburg but they’re most certainly not out. They’re unbeaten in their last 13 UEFA home matches and have progressed after losing the first leg in three of the last five times it’s happened.
A one-goal Roma win will be enough to send this fixture to extra time and they’ll advance with a multi-goal victory. RB Salzburg are favored to advance, at -130 odds but it’s significant that Roma still sit at even odds to go through. That’s with Paulo Dybala and Tammy Abraham picking up knocks in the last week, too. Both are expected to play on Thursday, though.
In the joint-widest spread of the Matchday, Roma are one-goal favorites and sit at +120 odds to cover. Jose Mourinho’s side also come in at -150 odds to win their first-ever home match vs. RB Salzburg. Notably, Salzburg haven’t won any of their last five matches in Italy.
They last defeated an Italian team in UEFA competition in 2009. Still, Salzburg are -150 favorites to cover the spread but +435 underdogs to win the match. A draw would be enough for RB Salzburg and it displays +275 odds. Meanwhile, under 2½ goals are listed at -135 odds.
Rennes find themselves in exactly the same position as AS Roma. They’re one goal down and now have a home fixture to try to turn things around. Rennes are implied to be more likely than AS Roma to qualify for the round of 16, at -105 odds. They’re one-goal favorites vs. Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday and come in at +110 odds to cover and -155 odds to win.
Rennes snapped a three-game losing streak over the weekend by defeating Clermont 2-0. Arnaud Kalimuendo scored a brace and Rennes may certainly need him in this one.
Shakhtar Donetsk have quite a solid away record in the Europa League, and Shakhtar +1 displays -140 odds. The Ukrainian side also sits at +385 odds to win the match and remove all doubt. A draw won’t be enough for Rennes and it shows relatively long odds, at +315. Five of SRFC’s last six matches have finished with three goals or more. Over 2½ goals are priced at -140 odds for Thursday’s decider. Bettors should know that Rennes are unbeaten in their last eight home matches in UEFA competition. However, they’ve only won four of those eight games.
Follow us on Twitter