UEFA Europa League

Europa League Tips: Six bets from six games on Thursday

Union Berlin players celebrating
Union Berlin hope to celebrate another famous European win

The first legs of the Europa League's last 16 take place on Thursday night, and Kevin Hatchard is across six of the eight games.


Capital club's fairytale to continue

Union Berlin v Union Saint-Gilloise
Thursday 09 March, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

The most remarkable thing about Union Berlin knocking footballing royalty Ajax out of a European competition was that it didn't feel like that much of a shock.

Although their form has been a little patchy of late, Union are starting to look like they belong at the top end of German football, and they have been far more effective and consistent than traditional big hitters like Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Union are third in the Bundesliga, and they face an Union Saint-Gilloise side that won 1-0 in Köpenick in the group stage against Union, only for the Germans to win by the same scoreline in Belgium.

The Belgian Union won the group, but recent defeats against Standard Liege and Westerlo have damaged their title bid, and they went out of the Belgian Cup on penalties at Antwerp.

I'll back Union Berlin to win, Under 4.5 Goals and Union Berlin to win the Corner Match Bet on the Sportsbook at 2.789/5.

None of the Germans' competitive games in 2023 have featured more than four goals, they have won the corner battle in both meetings with Union Saint-Gilloise this season, and in the Bundesliga Union have the sixth-highest tally of corners with an average of 4.8.

Back Union Berlin to win, Under 4.5 goals & Union Berlin most corners @

2.78

Magic Moussa to score again

Bayer Leverkusen v Ferencvaros
Thursday 09 March, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

After what's been a very disappointing season, the Europa League is offering underachieving Bayer Leverkusen a ray of light.

Their penalty shoot-out win over Monaco in the playoff round was one of their best results of the season, and there are some signs that the Xabi Alonso era is starting to take shape, although their form in the Bundesliga remains patchy.

Some of Bayer's best attacking players look sharp at the moment. Florian Wirtz is playing his way back into form after a long injury layoff, and French international Moussa Diaby has scored in three of his last five appearances.

Against a Ferencvaros team that remarkably topped its group but conceded nine goals along the way, Diaby should get chances to score, and I'll back him at odds-against.

Back Moussa Diaby to score anytime on the Exchange @

2.06

Freiburg to lose dream clash

Juventus v Freiburg
Thursday 09 March, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

It's not just Union Berlin who are living out their dream this season, as their Bundesliga stable-mates Freiburg now face a mind-boggling clash with one of European football's biggest clubs.

To give some context, Freiburg have never won a major trophy, and were relegated to the second tier of German football as recently as 2015.

However, Freiburg are starting to slow down, especially away from home. In 2023 they have lost 3-1 at RB Leipzig, 6-0 at Wolfsburg and 5-1 at Borussia Dortmund.

In October, they went down 5-0 at Bayern, and this body of evidence suggest that Freiburg can beat the lesser lights on the road, but struggle against the elite teams.

Despite their off-field problems, Juventus go into that elite bracket. Were it not for their points deduction, the Turin giants would be second in Serie A, and they have won 15 of their 25 games in the Italian top flight.

At home in the league they have won eight of their last 11. I'll back them -1.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 2.285/4.

Back Juventus (-1) on the Asian Handicap @

2.28

La Joya can help Roma

Roma v Real Sociedad
Thursday 09 March, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

It's hard to keep Jose Mourinho out of the headlines, and he caught the eye at the weekend by simply not reacting to Gianluca Mancini's stunning winner for Roma against Juventus.

He'll have been doubtless more impressed by another clean sheet for his side - Roma haven't conceded a single league goal at home since the World Cup, a run of five straight shut-outs.

Roma have won seven of their last eight home games in all competitions, including the 2-0 playoff victory against Salzburg that took them through to the last 16.

Real Sociedad have been arguably overachieving all season, and they topped their group ahead of Manchester United, but the wheels have at least started to squeak loudly.

La Real have won just one of their last seven competitive games, and they recently failed to score at Barcelona (1-0 defeat) and Real Madrid (0-0 draw).

We can back Roma/Draw Double Chance, Under 2.5 Goals and Paulo Dybala to have at least two shots at 2.427/5 on the Bet Builder.

Dybala has eight goals and six assists in Serie A, and he has had at least two goal attempts in 12 of his last 15 competitive appearances.

Back Roma Double Chance, Under 2. Goals & Paulo Dybala to have 2+ shots @

2.42

Strikers to shine in Seville

Sevilla v Fenerbahce
Thursday 09 March, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

Sevilla have improved of late, especially at home, but recent defeats to Osasuna (3-2 at home) and Atletico Madrid (6-1 on the road) have reminded everyone of their frailties. They also made a decent fist of throwing away a 3-0 first-leg lead in Eindhoven, and they lost 2-0.

Fenerbahce won their UEL group, and they are in a title race in Turkey. Ten of their 12 games since the World Cup have featured three goals or more, and Over 2.5 Goals looks a good price here at 1.845/6.

Back Over 2.5 goals @

1.84

Shakhtar can contribute to a thriller

Shakhtar v Feyenoord
Thursday 09 March, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

It's a sporting miracle that Shakhtar Donetsk, forced into a nomadic existence by the invasion of Crimea and the subsequent attack on the rest of Ukraine, are still in European competition. They have lost a slew of key players because of the war, and they sold jewel in the crown Mykhailo Mudryk to Chelsea.

However, they somehow managed to knock out a very good Rennes side on penalties in the playoff round, and before that they were close to reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

Now they face a Feyenoord side that reached the Europa Conference League final last term, and that has moved to the top of the Eredivisie. Former AZ coach Arne Slot is doing a sensational job.

I fancy both teams to find the net here at 1.758/11. That has paid out in seven of Shakhtar's eight games in Europe this term, as well as ten of Feyenoord's last 15 competitive matches.

Back BTTS @

1.75

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