UEFA Europa League Expert Tips 2019/20

Betfair Soccer Experts Form Labs are back to give their Europa League Tips for the 2019/20 tournament. They will preview major games in the latter stage of the tournament and give their expert tips along the way.

Sevilla v Inter

Spanish sides have dominated in Europe’s second-tier and taken home the trophy in eight of the past 14 years, with Sevilla alone accounting for five of those, including consecutive triumphs between 2014 and 2016 under Unai Emery.

Inter might be the first Italian team to even reach the final this century, but they’re heading in the right direction under Antonio Conte and only finished a point off Serie A champions Juventus in the end, while they’re gunning for their first bit of silverware since the 2011 Coppa Italia.

Both sides arrive in stellar form. Sevilla are unbeaten in 20 and have won eight of their last nine, with the most recent four ending in victories over Valencia, Roma, Wolves and Man Utd. Meanwhile, Inter are unbeaten in 11 and currently enjoying a six-game winning streak, as the likes of Napoli, Atalanta, Leverkusen and Shakhtar were all dismissed.

The Spanish outfit may lack the star quality provided up front by Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, but they can boast an excellent defensive record to compare with Inter. Bruno Fernandes’ penalty for Man Utd was the first goal the Spanish outfit had conceded in six games, while Inter have only let one in from their last seven appearances now.

However, it’s worth noting that the Red Devils were able to get off 20 shots in their semi-final, as Sevilla benefited from a superb performance by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and some profligate finishing.

Julen Lopetegui’s side are used to tight encounters with just five of their last 22 fixtures seeing the sides separated by more than a single goal. Five of the last six have featured fewer than three strikes, though Inter’s firepower will threaten to break that barrier this Saturday.

The Nerazzurri’s five-goal haul over Shakhtar means they’ve now scored at least twice in 10 of their last 11 matches as they’ve demonstrated lethal consistency. The Ukrainian outfit are not the best defensively though and have just one clean sheet from 29 European outings now, so we wouldn’t expect Inter to tread all over their opponents here.

However, Conte’s men have scored exactly twice in four of their last five fixtures as they beat Napoli, Atalanta and Getafe 2-0 each, as well as triumphing 2-1 over Leverkusen. The latter have a major goal threat, with Kai Havertz scoring their effort, whereas left-back Sergio Reguilon is the only player to score more than once for Sevilla across their last five matches.

Inter’s consistency in front of goal, Sevilla’s lack of output and the competence of both defences point towards a potential 2-0 correct score.

BETTING STRATEGY

BACK – Inter Win at $2.24

BACK – 2-0 Inter Correct Score at $13

Inter v Shakhtar

Inter’s 2-1 win over Leverkusen could have been bigger with a number of opportunities squandered, though Antonio Conte will have been pleased with the manner in which his team controlled the game, even if they couldn’t quite kill it off. Meanwhile, Shakhtar had a comfortable ride as they ran out 4-1 inners over Basel, though they’ve never really struggled in finding the net.

The Ukrainian outfit have now scored in nine of 11 European matches this term, as the two exceptions came in the Champions League group stages versus Man City and Atalanta. They’ve also scored at least twice in nine of 11 fixtures sine the return of action following the enforced break, bagging a minimum of three strikes on seven occasions.

Although an exciting attacking trio of Junior Moraes, Taison and Marlos means Shakhtar are never short of goals, their record at the back isn’t so convincing. They’ve only managed four clean sheets from 17 matches across all competitions since late February, despite mostly facing weaker teams domestically for the most part.

In fact, the concession of a late goal against Basel means they have just one shutout in 28 European appearances now, even if that came against Wolfsburg in the previous round. Inter certainly have the tools to break down their opponents with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez in their squad, especially with the former having now scored in each of his past nine in this competition going back to his time with Everton in 2014/15.

Inter are a consistent force in front of goal and have now scored at least twice in nine of their last 10 unbeaten outings, including clashes with quality sides Roma, Napoli, Atalanta, Getafe and Leverkusen. Seven of them ended in victories as well, with all but one of those three-pointers coming by a minimum two-goal margin, so Inter arrive in the kind of form that makes it easy to see why they’re the favourite in this clash.

The Italians are searching for their first bit of silverware since the 2011 Coppa Italia and Antonio Conte will want a trophy to quell the doubters. We’d back them to win, but despite keeping five clean sheets on the bounce before facing Leverkusen, Shakhtar’s attacking prowess leaves the straight win as a far more attractive option.

BETTING STRATEGY

BACK – Inter Win at $1.80


Sevilla v Man Utd

Narrow 1-0 victories were enough to see both these sides through to the semis, but while Sevilla took 88 minutes to nab their winner against a tricky Wolves side, United had to wait until extra time and relied on a Bruno Fernandez penalty to secure their fate. That’s hardly the first time this season as that was their 21st in all competitions this season, the most from any side in Europe’s top five leagues.

Sevilla come into this game off the back of some serious form as they’ve now gone 19 games unbeaten and have won seven of their last eight, including wins over Athletic Bilbao, Valencia, Roma and Wolves, with the last three of those coming to nil. In fact, they’ve now gone a staggering 512 minutes without conceding a goal, keeping seven clean sheets in eight games. That makes a strong case for ‘Unders’ here, especially considering that’s paid out in 10 of Los Nervionenses’ last 13 matches.

Man United, however, are no slouches in front of goal. Their 1-0 win against Copenhagen was the first time they’d failed to score within 90 minutes in their last 21 matches. That was largely down to the spectacular display from Karl-Johan Johnsson between the sticks, whose 13 saves were the joint most in a single Europa League game since 2009, so we’ll forgive the Red Devils for that.

What’s more, United have proved themselves defensively this season and, barring their 3-1 defeat to Chelsea courtesy of some David de Gea howlers, have conceded just twice in five matches now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won’t have to call upon the Spaniard for this game and can stick with Sergio Romero, who has conceded just five times in his 17 appearances this season, so we’re happy to get behind the a low-scoring affair here.

Six of the eight Europa League semis over the past two seasons have featured a maximum of two goals. Although we enter unchartered territory in having a single-legged tie this year, that should only serve to make sides more cautious from the off and we’re inclined to stick a bet on ‘Unders’, even at a relatively short price.

BETTING STRATEGY

BACK – Under 2.5 Goals at $1.61


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