Europa League Quarterfinal Matchday 2 Best Bets (4/20/23): Manchester United vs. Sevilla, Feyenoord vs. Roma, & Juventus vs. Sporting CP
With the first legs in the books, every single Europa League Quarterfinal tie is still up for grabs. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for another fun matchday in Europe’s wildest club competition.
Sevilla vs. Manchester United
At first, things were going according to plan for Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side. After a quick Marcel Sabitzer brace, they were off to a strong start at home against clearly overmatched opposition in Sevilla. Then, beyond the 80th minute, things got a little bit out of hand as left-back Tyrell Malacia tucked away an own goal in the 84th.
Then two minutes into stoppage time, none other than Harry Maguire himself, who had come on at halftime as an injury replacement, had a ball carom off his slab of a head and end up in the back of the United net. The remarkable and highly unorthodox comeback secured a massive 2-2 draw for the visitors, who weren’t given much of a chance before the match, and things certainly didn’t look good through nearly the entirety of regular time.
Of course, credit is due to Sevilla for putting United in bad positions and fighting to the end, but the score sheet displays a very symbolic message; the only way United should lose this is by beating themselves. They have the edge in almost every way, other than Sevilla’s wild Europa League magic, and by all means the Red Devils should move on to the next round.
That leads me to my first pick; United +100 in regulation, pretty solid odds as the clearly superior team, even if they’re on the road. The last 10 minutes of the first leg must come as a wakeup call for them, and they should not only come out hot, but play a full and proper 90 minutes this time.
As for the total, Vegas sees a line of 2.5 as basically a dead heat, but let’s go with the over. I do think Sevilla will put up a fight at home, as they so often do in this competition, and will force United to keep playing attacking football to score multiple goals and send this number over.
Best Bets: Man United ML (+100), o2.5 goals (-120)
Roma vs. Feyenoord
Unsurprisingly, José Mourinho’s side finds themselves down but not remotely out after the road leg of this Quarterfinal tie. Roma actually outplayed Feyenoord by a lot of measures, for instance they dominated xG by a score of 2.24 to 0.6, and generated the only big chance of the match- they just happened to miss that chance. Still, they did the main job; not get launched out of the tie against a team that has been stellar in so many ways this season, particularly at home.
The great thing is that Feyenoord will also think that they’ve done their job in this rematch of last year’s Europa Conference League final. They defended home field advantage, took the clean sheet and got the win, virtue of a bouncing long strike from Mats Wieffer- hard to complain there. Still, going into Rome and retaining that lead is going to be a tall task.
If you read my article about the first legs, or any of my discourse around this Roma team, you probably already know my first bet- Roma to advance to the next round. This is a tailor-made Mourinho comeback, I’m sure he has his team equally aware of the challenge ahead, and confident that they can make it happen. The Stadio Olimpico will be rocking as it has been on so many European Nights, and Roma’s defense should be primed for a big night.
And that brings us to my next wager for this one, Feyenoord u0.5 team goals. That’s right, I’m looking at the clean sheet for Roma. The odds aren’t good enough to bet the under on the match total, and frankly, I see them as pretty similar propositions; either Roma keep Feyenoord off the scoreboard and keep the game low-scoring, or Feyenoord gets one and the hosts get frantic.
Best Bets: Roma to advance (+115), Feyenoord u0.5 goals (+130)
Sporting CP vs. Juventus
Juventus picked up the home win in the first leg of this tie, but it could surely be argued that they were lucky to do so. Sporting had them beat in terms of shots, possession, chance creation, xG, pass accuracy, fouling, and corner kicks- basically every underlying statistic pointed towards the visitors taking that match. But one big chance converted and some timely defending were all Juve needed to take a lead into Lisbon.
As far as the result of this match, I’m a huge fan of the draw. Betting on Juve to advance is awful value for something that’s far from a sure thing, and betting on them to win is a bit too much for me on the road against a tough side in a match they don’t necessarily even need to win. So, at +230, the draw is a great place to land if you want to back Juve to move on and still get some decent value on your wager.
As for goalscoring, I’m going to go in a similar, if not as strong direction as I went for the last leg, and take under 2.5 goals. This match has 1-1 or 1-0 in some direction written all over it, with two solid defensive sides and everything on the line. Juve could steal a goal through a moment of brilliance, and it’s rarely wise to bet on the home side to get shut out, but I don’t see either team grabbing much more in this one.
Best Bets: Draw (+230),