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Betting Preview for the 2021 Europa League Round of 32 – Odds, Analysis, and Predictions
The Europa League may not attract the same hype as the Champions League, yet betting on Europe’s secondary club competition arguably gives you greater opportunities to take advantage of the bookies – and make some money.
On Thursday, February 18, the Europa League Round of 32 gets underway, with all the remaining teams opening their knockout accounts on the same night. The second legs will then be played the following week.
I cover every Round of 32 tie below and assess the odds for each team to qualify. But first, let’s start by taking a look at the latest 2021 Europa League winner odds.
Latest 2021 Europa League Winner Odds
Here are the latest prices for the 2020/21 Europa League outright winner.
The online betting sites view EPL rivals Manchester United (7.00) and Tottenham Hotspur (7.00) as the joint-favorites to win the Europa League this season.
The bookmakers are also expecting Italian giant AC Milan (11.00) and Arsenal (11.00) to challenge for the trophy, along with Napoli (13.00), Ajax (13.00), Bayer Leverkusen (13.00), and Leicester City (13.00).
Spanish side Villarreal (15.00) and Serie A outfit Roma (17.00) sneak into the top ten, followed by Champions League dropouts Red Bull Salzburg (21.00) and Shakhtar Donetsk (21.00).
Right – let’s get stuck into the ties.
Previewing Every Round of 32 Tie
Every Round of 32 first leg will kick off on Thursday, February 18. The second legs will then take place on Thursday, February 25, with the exception of Tottenham and Wolfsberger, who will play their second leg on Wednesday, February 24.
Olympiacos vs. PSV Eindhoven
Olympiacos find themselves in the Europa League having lost five of their six Champions League games earlier in the campaign. However, the Greek side will head into the Round of 32 brimming with confidence after recently enjoying a 13-game winning streak on home soil.
Meanwhile, PSV finished ahead of Granada, PAOK, and Omonia to top Group E. Roger Schmidt’s men are also trying their best to keep the pressure on Ajax in the Eredivisie this term.
Personally, I think backing Olympiacos to qualify from this tie makes a lot of sense. The Greeks haven’t tasted defeat for a long time, making the odds for them to advance seem pretty attractive.
Young Boys vs. Bayer Leverkusen
As usual, Young Boys are dominating proceedings in Switzerland. But the Bern club didn’t exactly find life easy during the Europa League group stage.
On the flips side, Leverkusen picked up 15 points from a possible 18 during the first round. With forwards Lucas Alario and Leon Bailey in seemingly unstoppable form this season, the German side should progress to the Round of 16 without any real problems.
Krasnodar vs. Dinamo Zagreb
This is a tough tie to call.
Krasnodar picked up positive results against Chelsea and Rennes in the Champions League towards the end of 2020, yet the team’s domestic form has been nowhere near good enough recently.
Dinamo Zagreb went unbeaten during the Europa League group stage, knocking out Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow in the process. If the Croatians can pick up where they left off earlier in the season, they should be able to edge Krasnodar.
Braga vs. Roma
Both Braga and Roma suffered just one defeat throughout the group stage, with the Portuguese side finishing second to Leicester and Roma finishing ahead of Young Boys.
Since then, Roma has suffered heavy Serie A defeats to Atalanta and Lazio, while Braga has failed to keep pace in the Primeira Liga title race.
I think this matchup could go either way, so backing the outsider at 3.80 could prove to be pretty profitable here.
Slavia Prague vs. Leicester City
Let’s be honest – it will be a massive shock if Leicester doesn’t progress from this tie. The Foxes are among the bookies’ outright favorites for a reason, and they are firmly in the hunt for the EPL title this season.
Slavia Prague picked up four wins in the group stage, although a 4-0 loss to Leverkusen on Matchday 6 proved that the Czech outfit is nowhere near the level of the top teams in the competition.
Red Star Belgrade vs. AC Milan
Domestic domination is a gimme for Red Star Belgrade. I mean, Dejan Stankovic’s men are already miles clear at the top of the Serbian top-flight. But the team has invariably failed to make an impact on the European stage in recent years.
On the other hand, Milan has been leading the way in Serie A all season, as well as excelling in the Europa League. With veteran goal-machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing some of the best soccer of his career right now, the Rossoneri is likely to make light work of Red Star.
Real Sociedad vs. Manchester United
This is arguably the standout tie of the round, with Real Sociedad and Man Utd both pushing towards the top end of their respective domestic tables.
Sociedad made a flying start to the season, but a series of defeats since the group stage has seen La Real fall by the wayside in La Liga. Meanwhile, Man Utd is well and truly in the EPL title race, although a recent defeat to lowly Sheffield United exposed the team’s weaknesses.
If everything goes to plan here, the Red Devils will advance at the expense of Sociedad.
Dynamo Kiev vs. Club Brugge
Dynamo Kiev dropped out of the Champions League after enduring a challenging group-stage campaign against powerhouses Juventus and Barcelona. The Ukrainians will feel that they stand a far better chance of progressing in the Europa League.
Club Brugge performed slightly better in the UCL, holding Lazio to a couple of draws. The Belgian side also seems to have the Jupiler Pro League title wrapped up already, meaning they can give their all in Europe.
Club is the bookmakers’ favorite to qualify for the Round of 16, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kiev upset the odds.
Wolfsberger vs. Tottenham Hotspur
This is undoubtedly the biggest Round of 32 mismatch. Tottenham is the joint-favorite to go all the way this term, while Wolfsberger is the rank outsider.
Jose Mourinho’s squad is packed with unrivaled depth in every department. Even if Spurs aren’t at their best against Wolfsberger, they should still be able to get the better of the Austrian minnows.
Lille vs. Ajax
I’m not so sure that the bookies have got this one right. We all know about Ajax’s quality, but it is important to remember that Lille has kept pace with PSG throughout the Ligue 1 campaign.
In Yusuf Yazici, Lille possesses the joint-top scorer in the Europa League. The Turkey international has bagged 11 goals and four assists in all competitions this term, so I can see him having a big say in the outcome of this tie.
Odds of 3.10 for Lille to qualify look like excellent value to me.
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar Donetsk stunned everyone by doing the double over Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier in the campaign, as well as recording two draws against Inter Milan. However, the Ukrainian club ended up missing out on UCL qualification on goal difference.
Maccabi Tel Aviv finished behind Villarreal to advance to the Round of 32, although Sivasspor and Qarabag didn’t exactly offer much resistance in Group I.
As the odds suggest, this should be relatively straightforward for Shakhtar.
Granada vs. Napoli
I’m surprised that the odds gap for this matchup is so big. Yes, Napoli should qualify for the Round of 16. But you’d be foolish to write off Granada altogether.
The Spaniards only suffered one defeat during the group stage, sealing three wins along the way. In the meantime, Napoli has suffered a number of notable defeats in Serie A since the Europa League took a break.
If you’re looking for a potentially lucrative wager, backing Granada to qualify wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Molde vs. Hoffenheim
With the Norwegian season currently on hold, Molde hasn’t played a competitive game since their final Europa League group-stage match – all the way back in early December!
In my eyes, that gives Hoffenheim a huge advantage. The Germans haven’t lost a Europa League game this season, picking up five wins and one draw so far. With that in mind, the odds for this tie are probably fair.
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Villarreal
This is definitely one of the most exciting Round of 32 matchups. Both Red Bull Salzburg and Villarreal play an exciting brand of attacking soccer, so this is destined to be a thrilling tie.
Ultimately, it is difficult to foresee the outcome of this one. The Red Bulls gave a decent account of themselves against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage, meaning they will fancy their chances of upsetting the odds.
Royal Antwerp vs. Rangers
Rangers have been one of the most consistent teams in Europe this season. Steven Gerrard’s men have all but secured the Scottish Premiership title, so they can now focus on going deep into the Europa League.
Royal Antwerp scraped through the group stage and has since failed to establish a rhythm domestically. All the signs are pointing towards a Rangers triumph here.
Benfica vs. Arsenal
Following a dismal start to the 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners finally seem to be heading in the right under Mikel Arteta. However, they could hardly have dreamed of a tougher Round of 32 draw.
Benfica is undoubtedly one of the strongest teams left in the tournament. If the Eagles are at the best against Arsenal, they will cause the English side problems.
Nobody would be overly shocked if Arsenal got the job done, although backing Benfica to qualify could earn you a tasty profit.
Wrapping Up the Round of 32
Remember, the Europa League Round of 32 gets underway on Thursday, February 18.
There are a number of clear-cut matchups that shouldn’t spring any surprises. However, there are plenty of ties that are destined to go right down to the wire.
When the competitions resumes, you will be able to find tips and predictions for all the top games in our soccer picks section.
If you’re also betting on the Champions League, I’ve also previewed the next round of that.