Europa League Quarter-Final Multi
By Leonard Solms
With only eight teams remaining in the UEFA Europa League, the tournament is beginning to look at least somewhat more predictable.
Manchester United have knocked AC Milan out and Slavia Prague have eliminated Rangers, while Ajax got the better of Lille in the first knockout round. During the last 32 and last 16, many of the ties were extremely difficult to call, but it is becoming easier to at least discern who the favourites are in each clash.
Manchester United and Arsenal are predicted to progress to the semi-finals, while Ajax and Villarreal are our tips to join them.
Our predictions can be used together in a multi-bet for greater possible returns or you can bet on each match individually.
All first-leg fixtures take place on 8 April at 21:00 SAST.
Granada v Manchester United
Manchester United have been grinding out victories in the Premier League, maintaining a firm grip on second place behind Manchester City. Although they have not been playing breathtaking football, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men have not had a blemish in recent times bar a 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester City.
Over the course of the past month, United have beaten Manchester City and a strong West Ham side, as well as Brighton & Hove Albion more recently, while also eliminating AC Milan from the Europa League.
Granada, meanwhile, have lost all of their last three games, going down 2-1 to Molde and Valencia and 3-0 to Villarreal. A Manchester United win looks a fairly safe bet on paper and there is enough value in the Red Devils to make it worth a punt.
Dinamo Zagreb v Villarreal
Dinamo Zagreb pulled off arguably the shock of the season when they battled from 2-0 down after the first leg to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 on aggregate despite manager Zoran Mamić having resigned after being imprisoned for fraud.
However, against Villarreal — a team which has become accustomed to major European clashes in recent years — it is unlikely that lightning will strike a second time in the same place.
Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine are on a five-match winning streak and it is likely that this will continue against a team that play most of their football against inferior opponents. Dinamo’s last game was a 1-1 draw with Šibenik.
Arsenal v Slavia Prague
Slavia Prague return to the United Kingdom for the first time since they beat Rangers 2-0 in a match which saw Ondřej Kúdela accused of racially abusing Glen Kamara.
The furore surrounding the incident has not died down, and to make matters worse for Slavia Prague, Kúdela could miss the Arsenal clash due to an injury sustained from Gareth Bale’s elbow while on international duty.
Arsenal have had their fair share of ups and downs in the Premier League, but their Europa League form has been impressive. The Gunners have seen three or more goals in six of their last eight matches in all competitions and they will likely win another high-scoring encounter.
Ajax v AS Roma
Ajax’s winning machine faces a potentially tricky test against Italian giants AS Roma, but the Giallorossi have been inconsistent over the course of the season, while Ajax have hardly faltered in recent months.
Roma’s last two games have been a 2-0 defeat to Napoli and a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo. Ajax, meanwhile, have won seven matches in a row in all competitions and Dušan Tadić has scored for them in his last three. It looks likely that we will see a repeat of the 2017 Europa League final in this year’s semi-finals — Ajax versus Manchester United.