Sevilla have a strong pedigree in the Europa League, being five-time winners, and this particular team are very dogged and robust. They finished fourth in La Liga on equal points with Atletico Madrid – and drew both league games with Diego Simeone’s side.
They come in here unbeaten in their last 18 games – winning nine and drawing the other nine, so while they mightn’t score enough goals for the chances they create, they’re a tough side to beat. If you compare and contrast their style of play to Wolves, a tight, low-scoring game could be on the cards.
In a combined 24 games these sides have played (12 each), there has been under 2.5 goals in 20 of them, an 83 per cent strike rate in the under 2.5 goals market. That price on that happening tonight is a little short for my liking, so I’ll pivot towards a Sevilla win in 90 minutes.
As a goalscorer option, everyone is familiar with Wolves’ striker Raul Jimenez. He’s scored 27 goals in all competitions this season – 19 in the second half – proving how tight encounters with Wolves are. If Wolves are to score, he’s the one who is most likely to do it.
For Sevilla, there’s only one player to look out for to hit the net and that’s the Argentinian Lucas Ocampos.
He’s scored 14 goals in La Liga and takes the penalties – five of the 14 net busters came from the spot. I like this angle and as we’ve seen from games – including Man United’s 1-0 win on Monday night – we’re seeing a lot of debatable penalties being given.
Ocampos is all-action and plays slightly wide of the traditional no. 9 role. He plays on the edge and has 43 league goals in his career, but he’s also been booked 42 times (worth a check in the yellow card market) but from that has only been sent off twice.
Basel finished third in the Swiss League and haven’t been great post lockdown, losing three games on the bounce. I find it hard to side with Basel as they’re not the team of old. Shakhtar Donetsk, on the other hand, drew with a very strong Man City team in the group stages. They also went and won 2-1 in Wolfsburg and beat them 3-0 in the home tie – with three very late goals.
The key thing to know about them is that they are full of Brazilians. They play what you’d describe as ‘Samba’ football and are very dangerous going forward.
They should have enough firepower to win this tie.
As a goalscorer bet, Junior Moraes fits the bill up top. He’s played in the Ukraine since 2012 and has almost 90 goals with 21 goals coming in each of the last two seasons.
Shakhtar could be dark horses to win this tournament.
Tips for Tuesday’s Europa League clashes
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