With all of the excitement surrounding the recent Champions League action, it’s now the turn of UEFA’s second-tier competition to show what it can offer. Tonight marks the Europa League quarter-finals.
With the potential of a Champions League spot up for grabs, all of the clubs participating will be eager to win the competition and considering Arsenal’s poor performance in the Premier League, this adds extra importance to this clash. Arsenal take on Russian side CSKA Moscow tonight at the Emirates and whilst Arsenal have performed well in their last couple of matches at home, there will certainly be lots of pressure tonight.
Danny Welbeck (99p) was pivotal in securing Arsenal’s victory against Milan in the previous round and with Aubameyang (£2.81) ineligible, he will likely get the nod. Alexandre Lacazette (£2.53) hasn’t quite had the season he would have liked this year, but having returned from injury with a goal against Stoke, Arsenal will be depending on the French forward to help guide them to the final. If you’re looking for an outside choice from CSKA, their Brazilian samba star Vitinho (75p) is a flamboyant striker capable of also playing on the wings. As CSKA’s top scorer this season, if anyone is going to be able to put a spanner in the works for the Gunners, it could well be the plucky Brazilian.
It will be very intriguing to see how several of RB Leipzig’s big stars perform in their tie against Marseille. Both Timo Werner (£4.06) and Naby Keita (£2.63) are Index favourites. Keita’s class is undeniable and this clash should give Liverpool fans another glimpse of what’s to come when he signs for them next season. Timo Werner has been slowly creeping up in value over the past couple of months and with good reason. Werner has 3 goals in just 4 Europa League matches (as well as 3 in 6 matches when Leipzig where in the Champions League) so it’s safe to say that the German knows where the back of the net is when it comes to the European stage. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see traders investing in Werner in the run-up to the match and if he is able to get a goal, he should see a decent jump up in value.
Talking of strikers and Lazio goal-machine Ciro Immobile (£2.03) is surely going to be a firm favourite for the forward dividend tonight. The Italian hitman has been unstoppable this season, with 6 Europa League goals in just 7 matches. His form has also been replicated in the league and Immobile is currently outdoing Icardi as the top scorer in Serie A with a whopping 26 goals in just 27 matches.
— Tom Randerson (@TomR_FI) April 5, 2018
Perhaps the one team who will strike the greatest amount of fear into Arsenal fan’s hopes of winning the competition will be Atletico Madrid. The Spanish giants last won the competition back in 2009/2010 back when they defeated Fulham in the final. Since then, Atletico have been more concerned with winning the Champions League, having missed out in two finals. Nonetheless, they will fancy their chances in this competition and so long as they can keep likes of Gelson Martins (£1.53) and Bruno Fernandes (99p) under wraps, they should be okay.
With Antoine Griezmann (£6.02) currently playing some of the best football of his career, it will be difficult for Sporting to overcome the Frenchman’s incredible work rate. Griezmann is just as capable of providing the goals as he is smashing them in and it looks as though traders are baking Griezy early doors, as he has already seen some investment since this morning. One Atletico player to keep an eye on will be Angel Correa (£1.40). The Argentine attacker has firmly established himself in the Atletico first team and considering his low value, he could well have much more to offer traders from a long-term point of view!
Although the Europa League may well be considered the second-tier tournament in Europe, with so many potential players to invest in, there’s still plenty of reason to be excited when the Football Index is concerned.