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Eden Jon 5th Dec 2012 - 11:24

Europa League preview - December 6th

Bordeaux v Newcastle 18:00 - live on ESPN

The Toon Army haven't, so far, reached the giddy domestic heights of last season and currently lie in fourteenth in the Premier League, just five points above the relegation zone.

However, their appearances in the Europa League have been assured and productive and Newcastle have already qualified for the Last 32 knock out stage. Their final match of the Group stages is against fellow qualifiers and first placed Bordeaux of France and with one point separating the two teams, Thursday's result will decide who qualifies as group winners.

With home advantage, Bordeaux are 3/4 to win at the Stade Chaban-Delmas , with Newcastle 15/4 and the draw 13/5. The last meeting between the two sides resulted in an enthralling 3-0 win for Newcastle at St James Park. A similar score line in France is 66/1 with the French side 14/1 for a 3-0 home success.

Demba Ba (7/1 first scorer and 2/1 anytime scorer) has been a constant thorn to opposing goal keepers in the Premier League, while in Europe, the goals have been arriving from all players and Papiss Cisse (7/1 first scorer and 2/1 anytime scorer) is returning to the form that saw him hit some blistering shots at the end of last season.

The Ameobi's, Shola and Sammy, have also been displaying quality on the pitch and are 8's and 12's respectively to hit the target first. Bordeaux have the attacking endeavours of Diabate and Gouffran to rely on and they are individually priced at 5/1 to score first and 5/4 to score any time.

Both of these teams have enviable defensive records and in the circumstances, a low scoring match is a distinct possibility. With a home 1-0 win at 6/1 and an away 1-0 result 11/1.

The Under on the total goals markets (Under 2.5 is 8/11) and to Win to Nil or Keep a Clean Sheet bet markets may well be of interest.

Although Bordeaux are rightly favourites, Newcastles' European record of 10 wins and 4 draws in their last fifteen games is a testament to Andrew Pardew and his hard working team and although both sides may not be playing their strongest squads, top spot is up for grabs.

Worth a punt:

To Win to Nil - Newcastle to win to Nil @ 6/1
Correct Score - Bordeaux 0 Newcastle 1 @ 11/1
1st Half Betting - Draw 21/20

A little speculation:
Correct Score - Bordeaux 3 Newcastle 0 @ 14/1

Enhanced Wincast Offers - Gouffran to score and Bordeaux to win @ 3/1 & Cisse to score and Newcastle to win @ 6/1

Opta Facts and Stats
• The Magpies have kept three clean sheets in their last five European fixtures.
• On the road in European games, Newcastle have enjoyed just one win on their last five outings, drawing three and losing one.
• English sides have lost on just two of their last 12 visits to France in European competition, winning six, drawing four and shipping just seven goals in the process.
• Newcastle have travelled to France on five previous occasions (excl. quals), losing three, drawing one and winning just one with that victory coming last time out - 4-0 v Sochaux in November 2004.
• Bordeaux have faced fewer shots on target (8) than any other side so far.
Away from home, Newcastle are yet to win a game in any competition this season, drawing seven and losing four of their 11 road-trips.
• Bordeaux have suffered just two defeats in their last 15 European games, winning 11 and drawing two.
• Five of Newcastle's seven goals in the Europa League proper this season have come between the 40th and 49th minutes and none of the seven have come later than the 49th minute.

Udinese v Liverpool 18:00 - live on ITV4

Liverpool travel to Udinese (while Anzhi visit Young Boys), knowing that they need to equal or better whatever Young Boys achieve to qualify for the last 32.

The Reds were expected to improve on last season's mediocrity. Unfortunately for their manager Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool experienced an appalling start to the new season and it has taken time for the team to rediscover it's confidence. However they have steadied the ship in recent weeks and successful qualification would settle the manager, team and supporters alike.

Joint Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez is expected to lead the line and the Uruguayan is 4/1 to score the first goal, evens to score any time and additionally we have enhanced the odds on Suarez to score and Liverpool to win to 3/1.

Liverpool are evens to win in Italy, with the home side, who cannot qualify, at 11/4 and the draw priced at 12/5.

Udinese sit in a comfortable ninth in Seria A, with Antonio Di Natale ( 11/2 first scorer, 6/4 any time scorer and enhanced wincast offer Di Natale to score and Udinese to win 6/1) their top scorer with eight domestic goals and despite the Europa League disappointment of certain elimination having collected just four of a possible fifteen points from their group games, he will still be a threat to any defence. If the Italian outfit are to collect three points at the Stadio Friuli, then Di Natale can be expected to play his part. And Udinese's sole win during qualification was a 3-2 success at Anfield, where Di Natale opened the scoring.

Udinese's domestic home record reads well. Three wins and three draws from seven games is an enviable record and with just ten goals conceded.

Liverpool have a few injuries and have drawn four and lost five of their last ten European matches, but will be sending out their strongest team to achieve their goal

The Reds have an excellent record for scoring first (Udinese are yet to keep a clean sheet) and an equally bad record at conceding second half goals.

Worth a punt:

1st Half Betting - Liverpool @ 6/4
1st Half Result/2nd Half Result - Liverpool win 1st Half/Udinese win 2nd Half @ 8/1

A little speculation:

Double Result - Liverpool/Draw 14/1

Enhanced Wincast Offers - Di Natale to score and Udinese to win 6/1 and Suarez to score and Liverpool to win 3/1

Opta Facts and Stats
• Liverpool have lost three of their last five games in Europe against Italian sides (W1 D1 L3).
• Only two sides have conceded more goals than Udinese in the 2012-13 Europa League (11).
• This will be only the third occasion that Udinese have faced an English side in Europe outside of qualifying - they have won the previous two (incl. the 3-2 win over Liverpool in October).
• Seven of the last nine goals that Udinese have conceded in the Europa League have come in the final half hour of games.
• All seven of Udinese's 2012-13 EL goals have arrived after half-time.
• Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale has been caught offside a joint-high 11 times so far.

Tottenham Hotspur v Panathinaikos 20:05 - live on ITV4

Tottenham (1/3)start the match knowing a draw(19/5) will be sufficient to progress to the knock out stages and will be confident of a result at White Hart Lane and although their Greek opponents (9/1) have a mathematical chance of qualification, the numbers and statistics suggest the Lillywhites will be in the ascendency.

Spurs have won and drawn their two home matches, conceding one goal, while Panathinaikos have lost both away fixtures and conceded six goals and scored none.

AVB is starting to win over the White Hart Lane faithful and will be fielding a strong team to ensure that fate is kept in their own hands.

Jermain Defoe (11/4 first scorer, 8/13 any time scorer and enhanced wincast Defoe to score and Tottenham to win is 11/8) is top of the Tottenham scoring charts, with nine Premier League goals and three in the Europa (courtesy of a November hat-trick) and he looks likely to lead the front line against Panathanaikos.

Tottenham look to have everything in place to secure a comfortable home win ( 3-0 is 7/1, 4-0 12/1)and may well do so without conceding.

Worth a punt:

Double Result - Tottenham/Tottenham @ 3/4

Jermain Defoe First Scorer @ 11/4
Match Handicaps - Tottenham -1 goal @4/5
Tottenham to Kepp a Clean Sheet @ 4/5

A little speculation:

1st Half Correct Score - Tottenham 3-0 @ 14/1

Enhanced Wincast Offers - Defoe to score and Tottenham to win 11/8 and for a surprise result Sissoko to score and Panathanaikos to win 40/1

Opta Facts and Stats
• Spurs are unbeaten in six European games now (excl. qualifiers), winning two and drawing four. During that run, they've conceded only three goals.
• The Greeks have scored only three goals in their five Europa League games so far this season, netting just 8% of their shots.
• Expect low cards in this game as between these two sides they have accumulated only 12 yellows and one red card in this competition (Spurs - 6y, Pan - 6y 1r).
• Only two sides have faced fewer shots on target than Spurs in the 2012-13 Europa League so far (12).
• Excluding qualifiers, Panathinaikos have won just one of their last 13 games in European competition, but this did come in their last outing against Maribor.
• During this run of 13 games, the Greek side have never managed to score more than once.
• Panathinaikos have won only one of their previous 17 encounters with English sides in European competition (excl. quals) - this coming against another North London side in the form of Arsenal back in Sept 2001 (1-0 at home).
• In their eight encounters against English sides on English soil, Panathinaikos' record is L6 D2, netting a meagre tally of just five goals.
• The Lilywhites have drawn four games in the competition proper so far, no side has seen more of their games finish level.
• Gareth Bale has whipped in a competition-high 42 crosses from open play.


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