The pressure has been on Davie Moyes at various points this season, none more so than after the recent 5-1 home defeat to Newcastle but a win over Fulham at the weekend eased the strain and the Scotsman will be determined to add European silverware to Premier League safety by the end of the season.
His West Ham side are 5/2 favourites to lift the Europa Conference League trophy and looking at the line-up of teams remaining in the competition there's no reason why they can't.
First challenge is to overcome KAA Gent over two legs. The Belgians scraped through the group stages on eight points, eight behind Group F winners Djurgårdens (who were subsequently turfed out 5-0 on aggregate by Lech Poznan), winning just two of their matches. They've since knocked Qarabag of Azerbaijan on penalties before stunning Başakşehir in Turkey with four goals in seven minutes, including a four-minute Gift Orban hat-trick, in a 4-1 win (5-2 on aggregate).
Orban will undoubtedly be the man to watch. The 20-year-old Nigerian has scored a fantastic 14 goals in 10 appearance since his arrival from Norwegian football in January. He's 5/2 to score anytime, 7/1 to score first and is clearly a man in form.
West Ham at 11/10 will tempt plenty of punters but it might all hinge on them keeping Orban off the scoresheet. BTTS could be a runner in this one at 5/6.
Both AZ and Anderlecht come in to their quarter-final clash off the back of terrific results in the previous round. The Dutchmen knocked out Serie A side Lazio with 2-1 wins both home and away whilst the Belgians disposed of 2021 Europa League winners Villarreal 2-1 on aggregate.
Anderlecht's fine European form has contrasted a poor season domestically where they sit mid-table, losing almost as many as they've won. Whether they can continue to put that kind of form to one side and deliver in the Europa Conference League remains to be seen.
Only three of the sixteen first leg knock-out ties in the Conference League so far have gone over 2.5 Goals but this one could be worth a punt at 11/10.
In the Europa League Manchester United are short favourites to lift the trophy at just 11/8. Tonight they welcome Sevilla to Old Trafford and are overwhelmingly fancies by the bookies. That might be a reflection of Seville's season in La Liga where they could yet get sucked in to a relegation battle.
For inspiration United need look no further than the seven goals Manchester City put past the Spaniards over two Champions League group stage matches but their firepower has been extinguished a little with the news that Marcus Rashford will sit out a few games. That could put the onus on United's second top scorer, Bruno Fernandes to step with a goal or two. The Portuguese midfielder is the Red Devils' penalty taker, further increasing his chances of hitting the net at 13/8.
Bayer Leverkusen have been great shape recently, winning seven in a row and now unbeaten in nine (W8 D1). They're the form team in Germany at the moment so no surprise to see them at 8/15 to win at home tonight. But opponents Union Saint Gilloise have proven themselves to be no mugs in Europe this season.
The Belgians knocked out Ajax in the round before last then progressed past Bundesliga opposition in the shape of high-flying Union Berlin 6-3 on aggregate, after trading 1-0 aways with them in the group stages, so won't fear their trip to the BayArena.
They scored in each of the three away matches in Group F and struck three in Berlin so could help us towards Over 2.5 at 8/11
Over 2.5 Goals Double
- Bayer Leverkusen v Union St Gilloise
- Anderlecht v AZ
- Double pays 13/5 at bet365
Upcoming Match Previews & Tips
- Thu 17:45 KAA Gent vs West Ham United
- Thu 17:45 Feyenoord vs Roma
- Thu 20:00 Anderlecht vs AZ Alkmaar
- Thu 20:00 FC Basel vs Nice
- Thu 20:00 Manchester United vs Sevilla
- Thu 20:00 Lech Poznan vs Fiorentina
- Thu 20:00 Bayer Leverkusen vs Union Saint-Gilloise
- Thu 20:00 Juventus vs Sporting CP
- Fri 19:45 Ross County vs Aberdeen
After the fanfare of The Masters we're back on the regular tour this week and The Caddy casts his eye over the RBC Heritage in South Carolina.
It's Day 1 of the Aintree Grand National meeting and Rizzel has picked out his four best fancies.
As always, let us know your best betting tips and predictions for today in the comments section below and good luck with all your bets!