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Betting Preview of the 2021 UEFA Europa League Round of 16

| March 5, 2021 7:34 am PDT

The UEFA Europa League Round of 16 kicks off on Thursday, March 11, with a host of exciting matchups in store.

Manchester United faces off against AC Milan for a place in the quarterfinals, Arsenal has a tricky test against Olympiacos to get through, while Tottenham will be hoping to avoid an upset against Dinamo Zagreb.

If you’re looking for betting tips and predictions for the Europa League Round of 16, you’ve come to the right place!

In this post, I preview the Europa League Round of 16, taking a look at the odds for every tie and predicting which teams will advance. I also check out the updated Europa League winner odds for 2021.

Right – let’s get stuck into my betting preview for the Europa League Round of 16.

Assessing the Europa League Round of 16 Draw

The 2020/21 Europa League Round of 16 gets underway on Thursday, March 11, with all the first legs being played on that day. The second legs will be played exactly a week later on Thursday, March 18.

Let’s take a quick look at the Europa League Round of 16 schedule in full.

  • Manchester United vs. AC Milan
  • Dynamo Kiev vs. Villarreal
  • Ajax vs. Young Boys
  • Slavia Prague vs. Rangers
  • Olympiacos vs. Arsenal
  • Granada vs. Molde
  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Dinamo Zagreb
  • Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Man Utd vs. AC Milan is undoubtedly the standout tie of the round. The two powerhouses of European soccer were among the pre-tournament favorites to go all the way this season, but one of them will have to leave the competition earlier than expected.

Having knocked out Leicester City in surprise fashion in the previous round, Slavia Prague faces another tough test in the Round of 16, with in-form Rangers up next for the Czech champions.

North Londoners Arsenal and Tottenham face Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb, respectively, while Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk looks set to be an intriguing battle.

Below, I assess the updated 2020/21 Europa League winner odds.

Latest 2021 Europa League Winner Odds

Here are the latest odds for the Europa League winner in 2021, courtesy of 10bet.

Manchester United-4.25
Tottenham Hotspur-4.75
AC Milan-10.00
Rangers -17.00
Shakhtar Donetsk-26.00
Slavia Prague-41.00
Dinamo Zagreb -51.00
Dynamo Kiev-51.00
Young BoysC-81.00

Man Utd (4.25) and Tottenham (4.75) are now the bookmakers’ two frontrunners to win the UEFA Europa League in 2021. As you can see, Milan (10.00) has moved down the odds list after drawing Man Utd in the Round 16.

Arsenal (6.75) is also among the favorites to win the competition this season, while Ajax (9.50) has moved up the bookies’ Europa League odds list after securing a favorable Round of 16 tie against outsiders Young Boys (81.00)

Elsewhere, Roma (11.00), Villarreal (11.00), and Rangers (17.00) all look like solid sleeper options to win the Europa League.

Odds and Predictions for Every Round of 16 Tie

Below, I share my predictions and tips for betting on the Europa League Round of 16. After assessing the odds, I provide my thoughts on every tie and predict which teams will advance.

Manchester United vs. AC Milan

  • Manchester United to Qualify – 1.54
  • AC Milan to Qualify – 2.25

For the competition, it’s almost a shame that Man Utd and AC Milan have drawn each other at such an early stage. Having said that, we are set for a thrilling contest between two of the tournament’s strongest sides.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have only lost one of their last 20 EPL games, with qualification for next season’s Champions League looking likely. However, when Bruno Fernandes isn’t at his supreme best, the Red Devils sometimes struggle to break their opponents down.

Milan enjoyed an 18-game unbeaten streak at the start of the season, although Stefano Pioli’s men have suffered four defeats in their last nine Serie A outings. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to miss the first leg due to injury, the Rossoneri won’t cause United half as many problems.

I’m expecting Man Utd to progress to the quarterfinals, but Milan will push the English side all the way.

Dynamo Kiev vs. Villarreal

  • Dynamo Kiev to Qualify – 3.65
  • Villarreal to Qualify – 1.21

Dynamo Kiev began the season in the Champions League. But following four heavy defeats at the hands of Juventus and Barcelona, the Ukrainians ended up finishing 11 points shy of the qualification spots in Group G.

There is no denying that Dynamo stands a better chance of winning silverware in the Europa League, but Villarreal is arguably one of the most well-organized teams left in the competition.

The Spaniards impressively saw off Red Bull Salzburg in the Round of 32, having previously enjoyed an unbeaten group-stage campaign. Better still, Villarreal scored a whopping 17 goals on their way to finishing five points clear at the top of Group I.

Villarreal should be able to qualify for the last eight without any real issues here.

Ajax vs. Young Boys

  • Ajax to Qualify – 1.41
  • Young Boys to Qualify – 2.55

Ajax is another team that started the 2020/21 campaign in the Champions League. Despite picking up a couple of wins and a draw with Atalanta, the Dutch outfit wasn’t able to progress to the UCL knockout stages.

But after getting the better of in-form Lille in the previous round, Erik ten Hag’s men are looking like genuine contenders to challenge for the trophy this year.

On the flip side, Young Boys are among the bookmakers’ outsiders. Sure, YB may sit 18 points clear at the summit of the Swiss Super League. But competing with Europe’s top teams is a different deal altogether.

The Swiss champs have given a great account of themselves in the Europa League this season, yet I can’t see them going any further.

Slavia Prague vs. Rangers

  • Slavia Prague to Qualify – 2.15
  • Rangers to Qualify – 1.58

In my eyes, this is probably the toughest Round of 16 tie to call.

Slavia Prague will be brimming with confidence following their hugely impressive victory over Leicester in the Round of 32. The Red and Whites also remain unbeaten domestically this season, having clinched 17 wins and four draws in 21 Czech First League outings.

On the other hand, Rangers find themselves 15 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with 26 wins and four draws maintaining their domestic unbeaten streak. Steven Gerrard’s side has also conceded just nine goals along the way.

Having tracked the team closely this term, I’m backing Rangers to advance at the expense of Slavia. However, the Prague club won’t go down without a fight.

Olympiacos vs. Arsenal

  • Olympiacos to Qualify – 4.10
  • Arsenal to Qualify – 1.17

On paper, Arsenal should win this tie. The Gunners’ squad is far stronger than Olympiacos’, but the English side has struggled for consistency throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

Mikel Arteta’s men have spent the majority of the season in the bottom half of the Premier League table and have lost three of their last five EPL matches. Arsenal was also close to being eliminated by Benfica in the Round of 32.

Olympiacos lost five of their six Champions League group games before dropping into the Europa League earlier in the campaign, although a high-scoring victory over PSV Eindhoven in the previous round suggests that the Greek side will cause the Gunners some problems.

Arsenal should progress here, but if you’re looking for a tasty outside bet, backing Olympiacos wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

Granada vs. Molde

  • Granada to Qualify – 1.25
  • Molde to Qualify – 3.30

Granada is priced at 21.00 to win the Europa League this season, while Molde is the bookmakers’ clear outsider at 201.00. With that in mind, the odds for Molde to qualify from this tie are pretty low.

After eliminating Italian side Napoli in the previous round, Granada should make light work of Molde. The Spaniards have been stuck in mid-table in La Liga for much of the season, but they shouldn’t struggle to reach the quarter-finals.

Molde produced one of the standout upsets in the Round of 32, seeing off Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim. But having not played for a fortnight, the Norwegians are bound to be rusty.

Backing Granada is definitely the way to go here.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Dinamo Zagreb

  • Tottenham Hotspur to Qualify – 1.15
  • Dinamo Zagreb to Qualify – 5.25

Tottenham’s well-documented slump has seen the club slip down the Premier League standings over the past couple of months. However, a recent 4-0 victory over Burnley proved that Spurs are still a good team.

Gareth Bale bagged two goals and one assist across two legs against Wolfsberger AC in the last round and has since notched up two goals and two assists as many EPL outings. With the Real Madrid loanee getting back to his best, Tottenham is the obvious favorite to advance from this tie.

Dinamo Zagreb extended their Europa League winning streak to six games after beating Krasnodar in both legs of their Round of 32 tie. Still, beating Spurs is a completely different task.

Jose Mourinho’s men have been far from convincing recently, but it would be a massive shock if they failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Roma vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

  • Roma to Qualify – 1.41
  • Shakhtar Donetsk to Qualify – 2.60

In all honesty – this tie could go either way.

Roma saw off Braga in the previous round, but the team’s domestic performances mean that securing Champions League soccer for next season won’t be straightforward for the club from the Italian capital.

Shakhtar Donetsk produced two famous victories over Real Madrid towards the end of last year but still failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase. However, the Ukrainians cruised past Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Round of 32.

I’m swaying towards Roma here, although Shakhtar could easily upset the odds.

Wrapping Up the Europa League Round of 16

If you’re planning to bet on the Europa League Round of 16 in 2021, I hope that my tips and predictions can point you in the right direction – and help you to win some money!

Remember – the Round of 16 kicks off on Thursday, March 11, with the second legs taking place on Thursday, March 18.

I will be previewing all the remaining standout Europa League games over in our soccer picks section as the season unfolds. If you’re looking for advice for betting on individual Europa League matches, make sure you check those out.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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