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Europa League Preview: Thursday March 17

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The Round Of 16 Concludes

Although another top weekend of continental league action is just around the corner, it is the Europa League which has our latest attention.

A Hammer Blow

After already having to deal with an injury to Jarrod Bowen, things have got no better for David Moyes and with the West Ham boss now having to deal with Michail Antonio’s absence as well, it means that the East London outfit are short when it comes to creativity.

Which is the last thing they need before Tonight’s Europa League encounter with Sevilla and with the Hammers finding themselves 1-0 down from the first leg, the task in hand has now become even more difficult.

Because this is a Sevilla team that has a symbiotic relationship with the Europa League and after winning the competition on six separate occasions (three of those in the UEFA Cup), they are also favourites to land a seventh trophy at the end of the season.

While one should not forget, that Sevilla’s own ground is the venue for this year’s Europa League final and if anything, a potential homecoming will provide extra impetus for manager Julen Lopetegui and his players.

Of course, it is attacking impetus that West Ham will certainly need and if they were at full strength tonight, the roar of the London Stadium crowd would arguably serve them well. However, with key names missing it may well be a different story in the capital.

While when it comes to what that story will likely be, a 1-1 draw is something that catches my eye, if only because the last three of Sevilla’s away days have ended with that score. Which means, if you also fancy joining me in backing the stalemate, you can currently get odds of 11/2 with bet365.

Simply The Best

With a 3-0 first leg lead already in their back pocket, Rangers’ march towards the last eight of the Europa League has accelerated at quite a pace and although the job looks more than half done, they must make sure not to take their eye off the ball this evening.

Because their Serbian hosts and opponents Red Star Belgrade, will look at tonight’s return encounter as something of a free hit and if they can get the first goal on the scoreboard, then who knows what may happen.

While it is this message that the Rangers manager will be keen to drum into his players and with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and his players just 90 minutes away from further glory, continued progress in the competition is very much in their own hands.

Not to mention, it was progress in another cup competition at the weekend, as Rangers advanced to the Semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and with another Old Firm meeting soon on the horizon, that is not the only silverware that they will be looking to clinch at the end of the season.

Admittedly, Rangers are still one of the outside bets when it comes to the Europa League outright, but if you are inclined to back them for Seville success in a couple of months, now may be the time to place that bet.

While on the topic of a top tip for this evening, I think the hosts will at least give the visitors a scare by winning the night but not doing enough to qualify and if you think Red Star will win in 90 minutes, you can back them at odds of 11/10 with bet365.

Please note that all odds are correct at the time of article publication.