Europa League 2017/18 – Semi Finals (Leg One)

Arsenal v Athletico Madrid

Friday April 27, 5:05am AEDST

Arsenal’s 4-1 victory over the Hammers papered over what in many ways represented a typical performance of the late Wenger years, with three late strikes preventing a third consecutive match without a win, and the prevailing mood at the Emirates could have been more apprehensive ahead of this clash had those late goals not gone in. However, it’s at the other end where Arsenal’s problems have lain in recent seasons with the Gunners netting 20 times across their last six at home, but they’ve faced a relatively lenient fixture list and have just two clean sheets in their last 14 at the Emirates. With that in mind they’ll have to do much better against far superior opposition compared to recent tests.

However, Atletico have conceded four times in their last seven in Europe and are without a clean sheet in eight on their travels across all competitions. Arsenal should have the tools to break them down at least once, especially since they’ve managed to find the net in eight of their last nine encounters with teams we have ranked in Europe’s top-10, while Lacazette will have been handed a confidence boost following his late strikes at the weekend. Diego Simeone’s charges cannot be too cautious as they’ll seek an away goal or two to take back to Madrid, and given the Gunners have conceded an average of 3.3 goals per game across their last seven versus top-10 ranked sides, both teams should find the net as indeed happened in six of these encounters.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Both Team To Score – YES at $1.90

Marsille v Salzburg

Friday April 27, 5:05am AEDST

Salzburg surprised everyone by taking down Dortmund and Lazio in the previous two rounds, while they’ve certainly shown themselves capable of scoring away from home with 10 goals in their last five in Europe, but having shipped seven times in three away knockout ties they’ll have their work cut out putting the brakes on Marseille’s attack. Indeed, Rudi Garcia’s side were impressive hosting Braga, Bilbao and Leipzig as they scored 11 goals, while they’re W14-D6-L1 in their last 21 at the Stade Velodrome across all competitions.

There have been at least four goals in four of Marseille’s last five at home, with the French side winning despite conceding in three of these, including 5-2 and 5-1 wins over Leipzig and Lille respectively in their last two. That they had six different goalscorers across these games is a testament to the various threats they possess, and so the Marseille win & both teams to score is the standout selection.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Marseille win/ Both Team To Score at $2.39


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