Betting favours Manchester City and Liverpool Odds
October 24, 2010 | In: Articles
Europa League betting is primarily focused around Manchester City and Liverpool at the moment, as the two English sides remain among the front runners to lift the trophy. Having looked at the Champions League group stage status for your football betting, here we turn our attention to the Europa League. The format this year for the tournament is the same as the Champions League, except there is an extra knockout round because there are 64 teams in the group stage compared to the 32 in the Champions League. While the quality of the tournament isn’t regarded as being as high as the Champions League, there is a lot of hard work to be done to reach the final. Liverpool came close last season, reaching the semi finals where they crashed out to Atletico Madrid. English side Fulham went one step further and played their way into the final against all the odds, where they too fell fouls of the Spaniards, led by the inspired Diego Forlan. There are big expectations for Manchester City meanwhile.
Manchester City: P3 W2 D1 L0 Pts 7
Lech Poznan: P3 W1 D1 L1 Pts 4
Juventus P3 W0 D3 Pts 3
FC Salzburg: P3 W0 D1 L2 Pts 1
At the start of the group stage, you would have had a hard time separating Manchester City and Juventus in the betting, and seen them drawn together in the same group was a mouth watering affair. It did, in all honesty, add a little predictability to the group, with the two sides expected to stroll through to the knockout stages. Man City have the upper hand at the half way stage, as the Italian giants have really yet to make a move. When they came to Eastlands, the two sides played out a fairly contested 1-1 draw, and after having no real troubles in their other two matches, has seen Roberto Mancini earn a three point cushion at the top of the group for City. Juventus really haven’t stepped up to the mark, and not since drawing their opening match at home 3-3 against Lech Poznan, have they looked as strong as one may have thought. This has seen them drop back down the betting, while the odds on Manchester City winning have shortened. If you are expecting City to go on and win, then now would be the time to get your money down on them, as their odds will only shorten as the tournament progresses. With Lech Poznan maintaining second place, even after being defeated by Man City on match day three, Juventus at the moment are missing out on a knockout stage place. But don’t be quickly drawn into betting against them qualify. Two of their remaining three matches are at home, including the massive one against Manchester City at the Stadio Olimpico. You would back the experience of Juventus to get through this, but it is not going to be all cut and dry by the looks of it. However, Lech Poznan were beaten comfortably enough by City to suggest that there is hope for Juventus, but if you want to go for the upset, then there is a great price to be hand on Lech Poznan to qualify above them. It should be Manchester City all the way in this group, even if they came away from Italy with a defeat. Mancini’s managerial style should be perfectly suited to this competition, and after their summer spending spree, they do make a solid bet to go all the way.
Group A Winner: Manchester City 4/11 at Coral, Juventus 10/3 at Stan James
Group A To Qualify: Man City 1/41 at Unibet, Juventus 3/10 at Unibet, Lech Poznan 17/10 at Unibet
Liverpool: P3 W1 D2 L0 Pts5
Napoli: P3 W0 D3 L0 Pts 3
FC Utrecht: P3 W0 D3 L0 Pts 3
Steaua Bucharest: P3 W0 D2 L1 Pts 1
So onto Liverpool, who are playing in the dullest looking group in the group stages of the Europa League. Why dull you ask? Well, out of the six matches played so far, the teams have mustered up just one win between them. That was Liverpool on the opening night, when they rode their luck against a sprightly Steaua Bucharest side who ran out of steam, and the Reds went on to a comfortable 4-1 home win. But the theme for Group K has pretty much been stalemate all the way. All other five matches have ended in draws, with three 0-0 results. Liverpool have been the guilty party in two of those 0-0 draws, as well as Napoli, and the big group clash between the two on match day three ended in that uninspiring score line. At the half way stage of Group K, things really are wide open, with Liverpool enjoying on a two point lead at the top, followed by Napoli and Utrecht, courtesy of their three drawn games a piece. What should influence betting here, is that two of Liverpool’s remaining three group matches are at Anfield, including the return fixture against Napoli, and you would expect them to get through, even if they aren’t playing well. They really haven’t played well all season, in the Premier League or the Europa League, but they are still worth a bet here, as they seem to be muddling their way through competently enough. As for the other team to qualify, that is open, but Napoli would seem to have a little edge, although Utrecht have put in some good, yet stubborn performances.