Seeley’s Selections – Europa League First Leg Semi-FinalsStats
The Europa League reaches the semi-final stage tonight and the pressure is on the remaining four teams now, with a place in next season’s Champions League awaiting the tournament winners.
Sevilla v Fiorentina, Thursday 8:05, live on ITV4 & 3e
The first game is a classic Spain versus Italy clash with current holders Sevilla hosting Fiorentina in southern Spain. Sevilla are the worthy favourites in this one at 5/6 with BoyleSports and I can’t see anything other than a home win.
Los Rojiblancos are in the form of the season at the moment and Unai Emery’s side have quietly moved up to fifth in La Liga and that is due to their incredible home form. At the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, they boast a 100 per cent record from their six home Europa Leagues games in this campaign and last weekend they finally lost their unbeaten home record going down in a very unlucky 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid (their first defeat at home in 27 matches).
Fiorentina, like Sevilla, are lying in fifth in their domestic league and their recent form suggests to me that after a long hard season they could be running on empty. The Viola are 19/5 to win this with BoyleSports, but with only two wins from their last eight (including five defeats) they can’t be backed at that price. They are however undefeated on the road in this competition, but I can see them falling just short tonight.
One thing you can always rely on Vincenzo Montella’s side to do is score and the 4/5 with BoyleSports on both teams finding the net looks a wager for most neutras.
Despite their bad run, The Viola have still managed to score in five of their last six games and both teams have scored in their last three. Both teams have also scored in seven of Sevilla’s last eight games and that looks a bit of value.
If you’re looking for a better return for your dollar, well I’m going to play a 2-1 home win which looks decent at BoyleSports’ offer of 7/1. Sevilla’s Colombian international striker Carlos Bacca is on fire in front of goal at the moment and at 7/2 with BoyleSports, he looks a great bet to open the scoring on in this one. The 28-year-old has banged in 43 goals in 73 appearances for Sevilla and has 25 goals already this season with five in his last six games.
Sevilla To Win @ 5/6
Both Teams To Score – Yes @ 4/5
Correct Score: Sevilla 2-1 @ 7/1
Carlos Bacca First Goalscorer @ 7/2
Napoli v Dnipro, Thursday 8:05, live on Setanta
In the night’s other semi-final first leg, Napoli host tournament surprise packages Dnipro. The Italians are just 4/11 to win this and they will do, but you have to be a very serious player to even contemplate getting stuck into the shorts prices.
Rafe Benitez loves this competition and will desperately want to win it again with his Napoli side and they can expect a very comfortably evening tonight.
In their five home games in this Europa League run, they’ve won four of them by at least two goals
The only one they failed to do so in was their quarter-final second leg 2-2 with Wolfsburg, but they didn’t need to as they held a 4-1 lead from the first leg.
I can see this tie being over as a contest before next week’s return in the Ukraine and I like Napoli on the handicap -1 at evens with BoyleSports. Dnipro have failed to score three times on their European travels this season a win to nil for Rafa’s Boys at 21/20 is another way to get with the Italians at a nicer price than the heavy odds-on.
Napoli -1 (Handicap) @ Evens
Napoli To Win To Nil @ 21/20
*Prices correct at time of publication