Europa League Betting Preview
Two matches in the Europa League on Thursday where a draw will take both sides through to the knockout stages and any other outcome in either fixture would surprise.
With Bruges meeting Braga in Group H and PAOK hosting Rubin Kazan in Group A the conspiracy theorists will be out in force if a stalemate prevails but there’s no getting away from the fact that both teams are aware of the consequences of it being level at 90 minutes and I’m happy to play at the prices on offer.
We see time and again in this situation that, despite the understandably cramped odds being presented by the firms, each team is happy to stick with what they’ve got and more of the same is in store.
Bruges and Braga will be looking to combine to leave Birmingham with only The Championship to concentrate on in the New Year and there appears no real benefit in topping a Europa League section while putting your place in the competition at risk.
Another English team, Tottenham, could well be victims of a Greek-Russian carve up in Thessalonika and I am surprised that the draw is not trading at much closer to even money in both matches.
Spurs, needing a thumping win against Shamrock and a PAOK victory to pip Rubin, have not been fussed with the Europa League since seemingly thrusting themselves into the Premier League title race and Harry Redknapp is likely to field a weakened team in Ireland in any case.
Harry knows that Spurs’ race is almost certainly run regardless of their efforts and I’d be shocked if at least one of these two fixtures doesn’t end all square.
1pt Back Draw (Brugge vs. Braga) @ 2.88 (various) 1pt Back Draw (PAOK vs. Rubin) @ 2.40 (various)
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