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Europa League > Mar 9th


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An array of fascinating ties for the last 16 of the Europa League coming up in a couple of weeks. APOEL versus Anderlecht is a close one to call. APOEL saw off Welsh side TNS in the qualification stages of the Champions League during the summer months but I wasn't overly impressed by them so I'm amazed they have reached this stage. I expect Anderlecht to win this over two legs.

Celta Vigo should make reasonably light work of Krasnodar but they need a result in this first leg. If they don't get a one or two goal lead then it could be a banana skin waiting to happen in Russia.

FC Copenhagen should be disposed of by Ajax. They could well win this first leg but I wouldn't be surprised if Ajax took a draw back to Amsterdam and finished the tie at home.

The all-Belgian tie is intriguing. Gent are the slayers of Tottenham so they have shown what they can do. Genk have experience of European competition but I think it has to be Gent over the two legs if they can get a win here.

Lyon and Roma is the stand-out tie of the round. Lyon have been a bit inconsistent in Ligue 1 but Roma look impressive this season. They remain the closest rivals to Serie A leaders Juventus and have also won 8 of their last 10 league games. I think Roma will edge it over two legs and could well win this first leg too.

Olympiakos versus Besiktas should be quite an atmosphere! Two sets of fans that love giving it the big one. I expect both teams to win their home legs. Who will prevail? This could go to extra time or even penalties. I think Besiktas edge it for me though.

Rostov are a very pleasing tie for Manchester United. I fully expect the Red Devils to make relatively light work of this tie. United could well win both legs and keep a clean sheet in both.

Finally, the all-German tie between Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach could be all but decided here. The home side could well win by 2 or 3 if the away side aren't on their game but Borussia have been picking up a few impressive away wins in the league lately. 3.25 is not a terrible price for them.

What do you all think at this early stage?

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Home advantage is usually really important at this stage of the competition and having had a glance APOEL, COPENHAGEN and OLYMPIAKOS on win/DnB is my first thoughts.

I actually think Gladbach is a better side away from home in Europe as it really allows them to counter attack and they were deadly against Fiorentina so would be wary of backing Shalke personally.

I actually think Krasnador will win their tie v Vigo. They're a seasoned European side and I can see them squeezing this one. 

Edited by Icongene
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@StevieDay1983 I reckon you are underestimating APOEL at home. Their crowd alone counts for an extra man and they definitely put on a show.

My picks for the first round:

APOEL win

Schalke BTTS

These two score goals for fun, even O2.5 might be good to jump on early before prices drop.

Rostov1X/+1

I back Rostov nick a result due to the distance for United and their jam packed schedule. All Utd fans were hoping for a tie nearby. We have the quality but I reckon we will play for away goals and bring the Russians home to smash.

They beat Bayern at home even.

Jose sums it up for me:

Quote

 

"They had a very good Champions League campaign," added Mourinho.

"They beat Ajax and Anderlecht in qualifiers, managed important results against Bayern and Atletico, got third position to knock PSV out.

"The team is very defensive and physical. A bad draw.

 

The Russian teams in EL have been underestimated this season I reckon.

Edited by KikoCy
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I really hate this whole competition because of how patchy the teams are compared to their full strength sides. :\ 

It's time to get some ratings together for this, so we can see their performances and give punters a more informed view, rather than them betting a little blind - of course that doesn't include the shrewdies on PL. ;) 

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On 3/4/2017, 7:01:34, Sir Puntalot said:

I really hate this whole competition because of how patchy the teams are compared to their full strength sides. :\ 

It's time to get some ratings together for this, so we can see their performances and give punters a more informed view, rather than them betting a little blind - of course that doesn't include the shrewdies on PL. ;) 

There's lots of advantage to that too. The bookies continually overate teams based on reputation/ELOs, such as 3rd place drop outs from the CL who don't take it seriously as the Champions League is their remit.

I agree it's a bit of a minefield but if you take your time, and really do your research, smart betting can make you a nice run to final :hope

Edited by Icongene
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I studied for many years the rating problem for international games and I found out, like you said, that is extremely difficult to compare based on some rating teams from different leagues. Actually it is not difficult but the results are poor.

First of all, if you use the same method to calculate ELO for each league then comparing one team from Spain with one team from Austria is wrong.  As soon as for each league the sum is zero for all ELO ratings then the first team in Austria league may have bigger rating than Barcelona.

The solution would be to further apply some correction based the league the teams come from but , in this case, the next question is how to find these corrections? It is very complicated.

 

Another problem, as you noted earlier, is different motivation that will affect anyway the ELO rating. As I noticed is that the big teams are not very motivated when play in EL (as they lost contact with CL, their initial goal) and now are focused on domestic championship. The same situation when speaking about small teams because probably they have already reached more than initial goal and  their best  players are already under pressure because are probably  hunted by the bigger teams (Rostov, Nicosia…).

 On this stage I would bet, as motivated teams, on 2nd echelon teams. (Anderlecht, Ajax, Roma….)But this may be a long discussion and it is not the moment now.

Another problem is that the European Cups are almost all or nothing games. The teams have not time to fix the results, maybe just 1-2 games not a whole season like on the domestic league so they are forced to play (at least to try ) at full strength  regardless their ELO coefficient that shows the relative value of the team over the other teams on the same league.  All that count will be their motivation and their absolute strength. Have to read a lot to see what happens inside every team….

 

So, giving these problems I renounced to ELO (or other ratings systems) for international games. Of course maybe some solutions may exists but they are over my resources…

 

Finally, I found that the best method to get something (or at least to lose the minimum possible) from International games is to read all you find about the teams involved, to find their motivation ..all classic stuff.  Then check the odds.

As you said, some teams are over evaluated , not by the bookies but by the other players that did not handle correct the game.  Of course the bookies will be ready any moment to offer a higher price if there are high demands for a result. (Manchester)

Sorry for the long message, I was afraid to write but on my thread only,  because „language barrier” but I got  some courage now.  :)

  

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, giraldi said:

I studied for many years the rating problem for international games and I found out, like you said, that is extremely difficult to compare based on some rating teams from different leagues. Actually it is not difficult but the results are poor.

 

First of all, if you use the same method to calculate ELO for each league then comparing one team from Spain with one team from Austria is wrong.  As soon as for each league the sum is zero for all ELO ratings then the first team in Austria league may have bigger rating than Barcelona.

 

The solution would be to further apply some correction based the league the teams come from but , in this case, the next question is how to find these corrections? It is very complicated.

 

 

 

Another problem, as you noted earlier, is different motivation that will affect anyway the ELO rating. As I noticed is that the big teams are not very motivated when play in EL (as they lost contact with CL, their initial goal) and now are focused on domestic championship. The same situation when speaking about small teams because probably they have already reached more than initial goal and  their best  players are already under pressure because are probably  hunted by the bigger teams (Rostov, Nicosia…).

 

 On this stage I would bet, as motivated teams, on 2nd echelon teams. (Anderlecht, Ajax, Roma….)But this may be a long discussion and it is not the moment now.

 

Another problem is that the European Cups are almost all or nothing games. The teams have not time to fix the results, maybe just 1-2 games not a whole season like on the domestic league so they are forced to play (at least to try ) at full strength  regardless their ELO coefficient that shows the relative value of the team over the other teams on the same league.  All that count will be their motivation and their absolute strength. Have to read a lot to see what happens inside every team….

 

 

 

So, giving these problems I renounced to ELO (or other ratings systems) for international games. Of course maybe some solutions may exists but they are over my resources…

 

 

 

Finally, I found that the best method to get something (or at least to lose the minimum possible) from International games is to read all you find about the teams involved, to find their motivation ..all classic stuff.  Then check the odds.

 

As you said, some teams are over evaluated , not by the bookies but by the other players that did not handle correct the game.  Of course the bookies will be ready any moment to offer a higher price if there are high demands for a result. (Manchester)

 

Sorry for the long message, I was afraid to write but on my thread only,  because „language barrier” but I got  some courage now.  :)

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent post giraldi :ok

I particularly agree about your point that for international/european matches, doing basic research on the teams (media reports, club websites, social media, fans forums) can make a huge difference.

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Rostov will play a tight defensive game tomorrow. I am unsure of Uniteds motivation for this game, but regardless of that they have had enormous difficulties against teams like this during the whole season (or more). United have trouble scoring even when they have all the possesion and create lots of chances. And I dont see them getting that many here, it will probably be a lot of crosses on Zlatan and Fellaini (if he plays) and some long shots from Pogba untill someone strikes luck.

Pitch is in terrible condition, I would not place any money on United even if they maybe get the 1-0.
I think under 2,5 goals for around 1.7 is a great bet, or under 1,5 for above 3.0 with a lower stake.

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Schalke 04 v Mönchengladbach

Schalke 04: Uchida (0/0 d), Coke (0/0 d), Baba (13/0 d), Naldo (18/0 d), Avdijaj (5/1 f), Embolo (7/2 f)

Mönchengladbach: Christensen (20/1 d, doubtful), Kramer (20/0 m, suspended), Nicolas (0/0 g), Doucoure (0/0 d), Traore (7/0 m), Schulz (0/0 m), Hazard (18/5 f)

 

APOEL FC v Anderlecht

APOEL FC: Soteriou (23/16 f, top scorer, suspended), Vinícius (23/6 m), Bertoglio (18/4 m)

Anderlecht: Appiah (9/0 d), Obradovic (15/1 d)(both doubtful), Mbodj (20/2 d), Trebel (8/0 m, cup-tied)

 

Olympiakos Pireus v Besiktas JK

Olympiakos Pireus: Da Costa (12/0 d, doubtful), Bruno Vianna (17/1 d, suspended), Domínguez (4/1 m), Kapino (12/0 g), Sebá (22/4 f)

Besiktas JK: Uysal (8/0 m), Erkin (6/1 d)(both doubtful), Demba Ba (0/0 f)

 

FK Rostov v Manchester United

FK Rostov: Soslan Dzhanaev (13/0 first goalkeeper), Dmitriy Poloz (14/4 f)(both probably in), Anton Lazutkin (0/0 d)

Manchester United: Eric Bailly (14/0 d, suspended), Luke Shaw (8/0 d), Wayne Rooney (18/2 f, captain), Bastian Schweinsteiger (0/0 m)

 

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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Mourinho said:

"It's still hard for me to believe that we are going to play. I know that we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play on that field - if you can call it a field."

"And I don't know what team to play, really. I don't know if Henrikh Mkhitaryan is going to play, I don't know.

"I have now a lot to think, because I was expecting something more playable."

235657_54_news_hub_196029_656x500.jpg

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Both teams have great offensive lines, they have the ability to score with ease, I expect an open game, with the two rivals fighting for the lead qualification
OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS vs AS ROMA @@ +2.50 Over, odds 2.05

The terrain in the court of Rostov is in disrepair and will complicate the efforts of the two groups of players, I expect close game with few goals
FC ROSTOV vs MANCHESTER UNITED @@ +2.50 Under, odds 1.71

The two groups have their games on defensive commitment and qualification will be decided in the details, the few goals have considerable fortune
FC COPENHAGEN vs AJAX AMSTERDAM @@ +2.50 Under, odds 1.65

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I'll take APOEL on a DNB at 1.91. I'd have taken them outright if their top scorer wasnt out. They are a difficult team at home and will be confident of building a lead given they beat (a better team) Bilbao in the last round. 

Anderlecht are a decent outfit and will pose a threat but I like the hosts here.

Also on BTTS in the Schalke v Gladbach match at 1.70 and I think the odds will lower towards ko; two teams that have lost their way in the league this season; falling short of their goals and I can't help but think Europe is now both teams primary focus. 

Schalke are usually good for a goal at (h) and with Kramer missing in the middle if the park for Gladbach I can see a little more space for the home teams midfield. Gladbach, have really found their feet recently and I think they play great when away from home as they can properly use their counter attacking style. Confidence is high and I can see at least one goal.

Also a bet on Krasnador to qualify at 2.7.

Celta are are a good team but I feel this tie is much closer to 50/50.

The Spanish had an excellent result in the last round and I hope that means they drop their guard here. The Russians are fully committed to Europe and play at a very difficult venue where it's hard to get results.

Vigo also have a big fight on their hands domestically to secure European football and are on a poor run of form domestically.

 

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On 2/26/2017, 10:49:50, KikoCy said:

@StevieDay1983 I reckon you are underestimating APOEL at home. Their crowd alone counts for an extra man and they definitely put on a show.

My picks for the first round:

APOEL win

Schalke BTTS

These two score goals for fun, even O2.5 might be good to jump on early before prices drop.

Rostov1X/+1

I back Rostov nick a result due to the distance for United and their jam packed schedule. All Utd fans were hoping for a tie nearby. We have the quality but I reckon we will play for away goals and bring the Russians home to smash.

They beat Bayern at home even.

Jose sums it up for me:

The Russian teams in EL have been underestimated this season I reckon.

I will stick to my bets as mentioned before.

Pieros Sotiriou and Vinicius are massive losses for APOEL but hoping Efrem/Aloneftis will step up.

Olympiakos - Besiktas

Olympiakos are great at home but I read they sacked their coach 2 days ago.

OLY also lost their last 3 league games.

Besiktas have poor away EL form - 7/10 away games have been defeats.

Besiktas win @ 3.10 has value (they are definitely winning this more than 30% of the time)

Besiktas X1/+1 @ 1.55 is great

 

Edited by KikoCy
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Just few words about Rostov – United because as I see, the games becomes very interesting to follow.

 

The current tendency is to bet against United. The field is on very bad condition, the motivation or the home team is very high, some missing players on United side, last few very good results on the national league..etc..

 

It seems to me that with intention or not (some guys maybe want to buy at better price J), the price for United win is becoming very good. Now is around 1.85. It is extremely good in my opinion.  

 

It is a huge value difference between teams against Rostov. Of course there may be big surprises (see Bayern) but at this level is something else.  

 

Ok, Rostov had some good results lately but if we look closely to the last 5 games table we notice that won easily against very week teams but failed to win and even failed to score against 3 medium teams, with only 7 (seven) shots on goal in these 3 games.  Hard to think will score against Manchester United.

VUi9ghg.png

Finally, I really believe that the last thing Manchester needs at this moment is to think to the second leg with Rostov.  Will force the victory,  maybe a comfortable one to return to Premier problems they have.  

 

Yesterday I did not like 1.65 but today I like 1.85. In my opinion the odds will be a little more bigger but will fall in the afternoon.  I will wait a little bit.

 

More than that, I will try   -1.5 Manchester with odds over 3.30  

 

Of course - just my thoughts.  Everybody has to make his own assessment.   

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by giraldi
Of course -1.5 Manchester not +1.5 Manchester
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@giraldi we are playing in multiple tournaments (EPL/FA/EL) and it would make sense to minimize the amount of 'serious' games required.

That being said, I see us playing for a draw and focusing on Monday's FA cup 1/4 final vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Lineups will be telling and Ibra will deffo play as he is banned for the next 3 games in English competitions.

That being said, I personally like X @ 3.30, especially with the distance to travel and that pitch.

Rostov can pull of results at home and fundamentally we are looking for value in any of these markets.

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A few words about the Belgian teams:

Gent-Genk

Both of them have an important match to qualify for Play-off 1 on Sunday (yes both of them are out of the top 6, lol). Chances Sunday are much higher for Gent than for Genk. Besides this, I am sure both teams will take this serious. The squad of Gent is much bigger, so I think they will rotate a bit (they did that also against Tottenham). At these odds, I am definitely going for Gent as they are excellent when playing in front of the home crowd. I saw Genk live last week at Anderlecht and their central midfield is very decent, but with the loss of Ndidi and Bailey they also lost a lot of quality (Gent have a better squad than before the winter break). Especially on the wings they lack some power. Gent is the logical bet here.

Apoel-RSC Anderlecht

Now some words about Anderlecht (my favourite team to be clear). They played a good game against Mechelen this weekend, but they lost. I don't know much about APOEL, but I understand that they will miss their top scorer. Than probably De Camargo will play. We Belgians know him very well, he was solid in his best period, but is getting old and slow. He left to Cyprus because he didn't play in Belgium. Besides this, the defence of Anderlecht is their weakest link. Also I think Anderlecht will rotate again like against Zenit. Deschacht will probably play and he made some big errors lately. In offence the rotation "problem" won't be that big as everyone has almost the same level, except for Teodorczyk who is really important for us. All in all, I think that Anderlecht is the favourite for qualification, but tonight APOEL is. I also expect Anderlecht to score a goal.

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1 hour ago, giraldi said:

Just few words about Rostov – United because as I see, the games becomes very interesting to follow.

 

The current tendency is to bet against United. The field is on very bad condition, the motivation or the home team is very high, some missing players on United side, last few very good results on the national league..etc..

 

It seems to me that with intention or not (some guys maybe want to buy at better price J), the price for United win is becoming very good. Now is around 1.85. It is extremely good in my opinion.  

 

It is a huge value difference between teams against Rostov. Of course there may be big surprises (see Bayern) but at this level is something else.  

 

Ok, Rostov had some good results lately but if we look closely to the last 5 games table we notice that won easily against very week teams but failed to win and even failed to score against 3 medium teams, with only 7 (seven) shots on goal in these 3 games.  Hard to think will score against Manchester United.

VUi9ghg.png

Finally, I really believe that the last thing Manchester needs at this moment is to think to the second leg with Rostov.  Will force the victory,  maybe a comfortable one to return to Premier problems they have.  

 

Yesterday I did not like 1.65 but today I like 1.85. In my opinion the odds will be a little more bigger but will fall in the afternoon.  I will wait a little bit.

 

More than that, I will try   +1.5 Manchester with odds over 3.30  

 

Of course - just my thoughts.  Everybody has to make his own assessment.   

 

 

 

 

 

It worries me when everyone feels that Rostov will win.. generally the one that will screw us over ha. At first i was all over it but united still have a lot of quality and with ibra anything is possible.

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2 minutes ago, rangers234 said:

It worries me when everyone feels that Rostov will win.. generally the one that will screw us over ha. At first i was all over it but united still have a lot of quality and with ibra anything is possible.

Of course there I meant -1.5 Manchester as results from my comment not +1.5 Manchester

1 hour ago, KikoCy said:

@giraldi we are playing in multiple tournaments (EPL/FA/EL) and it would make sense to minimize the amount of 'serious' games required.

That being said, I see us playing for a draw and focusing on Monday's FA cup 1/4 final vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Lineups will be telling and Ibra will deffo play as he is banned for the next 3 games in English competitions.

That being said, I personally like X @ 3.30, especially with the distance to travel and that pitch.

Rostov can pull of results at home and fundamentally we are looking for value in any of these markets.

I almost totally agree with you. We have to find values.

Of course you are much more closer to United and have info but I can not imagine that a team like MU can not handle 2 games within 4 days (one game against Rostov) without thinking to win both of them. I really believe that we can speak about distances and pitch maybe for la League 2 teams not for one of the most  powerfull team in the world with hundrets of milions players. Of course maybe will see a poor game by MU but the qualitty is very clear in their favor. 

My very little experience tells me that the big teams has no time to postopne problems. If they have 90 minutes to decide the 2 legs they will not waste the time. As you said they have other problems to fix next.

As I said I do not exclude surprises but my final decision is AH(-1.5) Manchester @ 3.35  and correct score 0-2 @ 7.50

 

 

 

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@giraldi agreed for the most par but the United of 16/17 has still not convinced 100%.

Intention is different to output; they want to win but whether they show up and are cohesive as a unit is a different story.

Especially if they rotate and start Pogba/Fellaini/Herrera in the mid which is a possibility. Lingard/Martial/Ibra (potentially Mata for Lingard) up front.

The talent is there but the chemistry lacks at times with our team.

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Anderlecht @2.70 to beat Apoel

Main bet of Europa league matches. According to my criteria, Apoel is missing the two most valuable players of their game- Soteriou and Vinicious-

Anderlecht with some super talented players like Tielemans ready to be sold to big premier league teams

I can not afford not to place my massive stakes on the away side. Too much fan support for Apoel, not enough though in my opinion

 

Good luck punters!

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4 hours ago, delfino said:

Anderlecht @2.70 to beat Apoel

Main bet of Europa league matches. According to my criteria, Apoel is missing the two most valuable players of their game- Soteriou and Vinicious-

Anderlecht with some super talented players like Tielemans ready to be sold to big premier league teams

I can not afford not to place my massive stakes on the away side. Too much fan support for Apoel, not enough though in my opinion

 

Good luck punters!

Great shout bud. :ok

Tbh had I known Vinicious was also out I'd have shelved my DnB.

The (h) team were then forced into 2 more unforced changes due to injury in the 1st half.  They hit the bar and missed a golden chance but Anderlecht had one or two of their own so no complaints.

Edited by Icongene
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22 hours ago, KikoCy said:

@giraldi we are playing in multiple tournaments (EPL/FA/EL) and it would make sense to minimize the amount of 'serious' games required.

That being said, I see us playing for a draw and focusing on Monday's FA cup 1/4 final vs Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Lineups will be telling and Ibra will deffo play as he is banned for the next 3 games in English competitions.

That being said, I personally like X @ 3.30, especially with the distance to travel and that pitch.

Rostov can pull of results at home and fundamentally we are looking for value in any of these markets.

Very good approach. Congratulation.

Another proof that knowledge closely a team makes the difference. Many years ago I started a project on a smaller forum. Made a team and each guy had in responsibility one team. His mission was to be the shadow of the team. He knew everything about the players, manager...if the keeper had an affair with the manager's wife..absolutely all. Now, when one team appeared on schedule the guy were the "primadona" and give as good info. 

The idea was that you, as a isolate player do not have the time resources to know too much...but together is something else.

 

On the other hand if the games will be played again tonight I would say  the same things and I will play the same :))

 

 

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