Glamour Ties in the Europa League!!!

Glamour Ties in the Europa League!!!

Any game between Barcelona and Napoli is guaranteed to get the heart racing. That’s what we have in store on Thursday February 17 but it’s in the Europa League. With Borussia Dortmund, Atalanta, Sevilla, and RB Leipzig also playing, the Europa League has suddenly gone up a gear or two. Let’s look at the top games and some odds.

Thursday February 17

Barcelona v Napoli (5.45pm)

This isn’t a bad way to start the Europa League play-off round. The winners of this tie go into the last 16, where the eight group winners (including West Ham) lie in wait. Barcelona are used to being in contention for the Champions League but could only finish third in their group this season. Finishing behind Bayern Munich was expected, not ending above Benfica wasn’t.

That’s put Barcelona in the secondary European competition for the first time since the 2003/2004 season. It’s something they might have to get used to as a top four finish in La Liga is going to be a battle.

Current form is still a bit patchy. They needed a late goal to get a 2-2 draw at Espanyol on Sunday. If they are to progress to the last 16, Barca need to show more of the form that saw them beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 earlier this month. They are 10/11 at Coral to win this game.

Napoli are third in Serie A and drew at home with leaders Inter at the weekend. They finished second in their Europa League group, ahead of Leicester City (now in the Europa Conference League) but behind Spartak Moscow. Napoli only won one of their three away games and both teams scored in all but one of their group matches.

They are 3/1 at BetVictor to beat Barcelona. A bet on both teams to score looks the best way to get a win. That’s happened in 10 of the last 12 Barca games. It’s 4/6 at William Hill that both sides score.

Borussia Dortmund v Rangers (8pm)

Both clubs are second in their domestic leagues. They also both began the season in the Champions League. Dortmund finished second in Group C behind Ajax and Sporting. Away form was their undoing with heavy losses against the top two.

The weekend saw them win 3-0 away at Union Berlin. They needed that result after being beaten 5-2 at home by Bayer Leverkusen the previous weekend. 12 of their last 14 home fixtures have seen them score at least twice but five of the last seven have seen both teams score.

Rangers lost to Malmo in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. They fared better in the Europa League and finished second in their group behind Lyon. It wasn’t the greatest of performances though with two wins, two draws and a couple of defeats.

Their last four away games have only produced an away Scottish Cup win at Annan Athletic. Rangers have no wins in their last five Europa League games, though four have been drawn. They are 15/2 at Parimatch to win in Germany. A home win looks more than likely, that’s 4/11 at Betfair. Marco Reuss is in good form and he’s 7/5 at Paddy Power to score for Dortmund.