IT’S Europa League night and for this tournament the emphasis has to be on goals rather than WDW.
There are some great looking ties and while most teams will put out strong line-ups with a Champions League place on offer to the eventual winner some will rotate.
So let’s start with three English sides in action. Liverpool have hit six in Daniel Sturridge’s last two away games – so if he plays tonight they should be confident of winning at Augsburg.
Unfortunately for boss Jurgen Klopp those two romps – 6-1 at Southampton and 6-0 at Aston Villa last weekend – were 11 weeks apart and that explains why his side won’t be in next season’s Champions League.
Sturridge is the player the Reds have missed most so wait for Europa League line-ups before backing the Reds at a best 23-20 with Betfred if he starts. I’ll be on Sturridge at 9-2 with Ladbrokes and William Hill to score first if he gets the nod.
Klopp will know all about Augsburg on his return to Germany. After a super first season in the Bundesliga they’ve struggled and lie just one point clear of trouble after taking two points in four games.
Team news is also vital when it comes to Fiorentina v Spurs. A full-strength Spurs side would win in Italy but they’re now serious title contenders so Mauricio Pochettino will ring the changes and he’s also without keeper Hugo Lloris who is injured.
Poch has successfully picked teams to reach the group stage and I’m backing Spurs to collect at least the draw that will keep their hopes alive. A scoring stalemate pays 37-10 at 888sport.
Man United are without Wayne Rooney – out for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury – and have taken eight academy kids to Midtjylland with a total of 13 players on the injury list.
United are no bigger than 7-10 at Betfred and with kids such as Scot Donald Love set to start it looks a bit short.
Anthony Martial could be on his own up front and if he is consider him at to score first at 5-1 with McBookie.
Elsewhere Villarreal, fourth in La Liga, host Napoli who were top of Serie A before a 1-0 defeat against Juventus at the weekend.
Villarreal have not lost in the league since November and they will be keen to make use of home advantage but the Italians should at least net.
Valencia boss Gary Neville will hope to mark his managerial debut in the Europa League with victory over Rapid Vienna on his 41st birthday after finally breaking his league duck at the weekend. Again both to score looks the shout here.
Spain has four representatives in the last 32, with Athletic Bilbao travelling to Marseille and champions Sevilla hosting Molde. Marseille-Bilbao should be a cracker while Sevilla are the shortest-priced team on the night at abotu 1-5 – so take them -1 at 1-2.
Along with Molde, Midtjylland and Augsburg, Krasnodar are making their first appearance in the knockout stages of the competition and will take on Sparta Prague.
Tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund, second in the Bundesliga, face Porto whose Portuguese rivals Sporting Lisbon play Bayer Leverkusen in another belter that has goals written all over it.
Lazio travel to Galatasaray, while in the other ties Anderlecht meet Olympiakos, St Etienne host Basel, Braga travel to Sion and Shakhtar Donetsk play Schalke.
I’lll check latest team news in the morning before putting
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