PLENTY of people are expecting goals galore in tonight’s Europa League ties and I hope that’s the case.
With a Champions League place on offer to the winner there’s more incentive to stay around but a word of warning – 75 per cent of first-leg last-32 ties a year went under 2.5 goals.
I’ve picked out a treble that will hopefully buck the trend and starts with Wolfsburg v Sporting. The Germans won 5-4 at Bayer at the weekend and have netted 13 in four games since resuming the Bundesliga with a 4-1 thumping of Bayern Munich. Sporting have scored in their last six matches and have hit 19 in 10 away games this season. They should score but even if they don’t Wolfsburg could net three. Bas Dost has netted hat-tricks against Bayer and Bayern and is 4-1 at 888sport to score first.
Next take Ajax v Legia Warsaw. Ajax ended a poor run with a 4-2 defeat of Twente last week but have conceded in their last four. The Poles are on a mission to make the Final in their home city after being kicked out of the Champions League for fielding an ineligible player. Legia have lost their last two games 3-1 but and if you take two defences that can’t defend you should get goals.
Complete the treble with Villarreal v Red Bull Salzburg. All Red Bull’s European games this season have gone over 2.5 goals and the trend should continue even though they’ve lost tournament top scorer Alan to China. Red Bull give us goals from all over and at least Jonathan Soriano remains.
Villarreal have scored 2+ goals in 12 of their last 13 home matches and rested players at the weekend to be ready for this tie. They should be raring to go and hopefully it’s a high-scoring thriller.
I’m taking Bas Dost, Roma’s returning skipper Franceso Totti and Spurs star Harry Kane on a low-stakes first-scorer Trixie for some added interest.
(1pt Over 2.5 goals treble
Wolfsburg v Sporting (6pm)
Ajax v Legia Warsaw (8.05pm)
Villarreal v Salzburg (8.05pm)
1st scorer Trixie
Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)
Totti (Roma, 6pm)
Kane (Spurs, 8.05pm)
Treble pays 139-1, 888sport
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