By News Team
5th August 2020
Although the English domestic season is now over, we’ve still got plenty of top-quality European action to look forward to with the Europa League taking centre stage on Wednesday and Thursday. There’s plenty of interest with Manchester United, Rangers and Wolves all in action in the second legs of their last-16 ties. Here is our preview of their matches.
Smooth sailing for Man Utd
Given Manchester United’s recent strong form, it’s unsurprising that the Red Devils are 15/8 favourites to regain the Europa League trophy they won in 2017. The Red Devils have only lost once since late January and have looked a real force going forward with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial developing into a hugely potent front-three. With Jadon Sancho seemingly on his way to Old Trafford, United are going to have a serious strike force for next season as they hunt down Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.
Before that, though, they have a Europa League to win and if they sustain their recent form through the rest of the competition, then they’ll be confident of winning it for a second time. They face LASK at Old Trafford on Wednesday having beaten their Austrian opponents 5-0 in the first leg, and they are just 1/5 for victory again here with the visitors available at 12/1.
While it should be smooth sailing for United, it might be worth looking to Greenwood to continue his solid goalscoring form. The Englishman has scored five times in his last seven United appearances and found the target against LASK in the first leg. He’s 14/5 to score first and 4/5 to score anytime.
Tough task for Gerrard’s Rangers in Germany
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers head to Germany on Thursday evening to face Bayer Leverkusen hoping to overturn a 3-1 aggregate deficit. That defeat, which ended their unbeaten run of 17 European games at Ibrox, looks hugely costly now with Leverkusen having three away goals to clutch onto, meaning Rangers must score three times at the BayArena to qualify for the last-eight.
Leverkusen are 13/20 for victory, while they are just 1/50 to qualify for the quarter-finals. Rangers, the 4/1 outsiders on Wednesday, will be hoping for a miracle similar to the one their manager Gerrard was involved in during that comeback of all comebacks for Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005. They’ll need to start fast to have any chance of ruffling Leverkusen’s feathers and they are 13/8 to score first, while Ryan Kent, a scorer against Aberdeen over the weekend, could be the man to do that with the former Liverpool man 11/1 to open the scoring.
Molineux tie on a knife-edge
Perhaps the most intriguing second leg tie is Olympiacos’ trip to Molineux to face Wolves on Thursday, with the first leg having ended all square at 1-1.
The hosts only lost four times at home during the 2019/20 Premier League season and that’s perhaps why they are just 1/3 to qualify for the quarter-finals. As was the case with Leverkusen, Wolves have that crucial away goal, meaning their Greek opponents will have to go on the offensive if they want to advance here. The visitors are 17/4 for victory, while they are priced at 9/4 to qualify.
You’d expect Wolves to be too strong here and they look the right favourites, but given the visitors need to score to have any chance of qualification, the 3/1 on a Wolves victory with both teams finding the net could be a possible way to go.