Manchester United and Ajax to Win Europa League Ties

Manchester United face a tough trip to Anderlecht in the Europa League.

Ajax is 18-1-0 in its last 19 competitive home matches so one is going to headline the Sons of Gods in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final ties.

Only PSV has avoided defeat to Ajax in the former’s last 19 meaningful home games and the Peasants were heading for a loss until they equalised 10 minutes from time. The Dutch Eredivisie is one of Europe’s second-class tournaments and the UEFA Europa League is the governing body’s second best competition but one must respect Ajax’s 18-1-0 home run since the Sons of Gods lost 1-2 to Willem II in August. Ajax’s last home reverse prior to that came versus PSV in August 2015 so the Sons of Gods are formidable in Amsterdam.

Formidable is not a word that one would use in association with Schalke, the German Bundesliga’s 10th-ranked team that has a bad away record in its domestic tournament. Schalke is 2-4-7 in its 13 German Bundesliga road matches and its two away victories have been over 14th-placed Wolfsburg and 15th-placed Mainz. Irrespective of venue, Schalke has won just one of its 12 German Bundesliga games against sides ranked in the top seven so its quality is questionable.

Both Ajax and Schalke have encountered PAOK in UEFA action this season and, while strictly speaking one’s collateral form analysis would favour the Royal Blues over the Sons of Gods, it is important to note two things: both of them beat PAOK in Greece and drew with PAOK on home soil and their respective meetings took place in different competitions. Therefore, one is not going to place too much emphasis on Schalke’s collateral form edge over Ajax; it is minor.

Marathonbet is offering odds of +163  about Ajax getting the better of Schalke in Thursday’s UEFA Europa League match and one thinks that is a fair few rolls over the top. Ajax ought to be trading at odds of around the +120  mark in light of its outstanding home numbers that include wins over the likes of Celta, Feyenoord and Kobenhavn. Schalke’s most recent road trip resulted in a 0-3 German Bundesliga loss at Bremen and that is not a particularly strong form reference.

There is sufficient evidence that Manchester United is a lot better than Anderlecht so one is selecting the Red Devils to win Thursday’s UEFA Europa League game at odds of +100  with several bookmakers, including Bet365, BoyleSports and William Hill. One’s reasons for rating Manchester United higher than Anderlecht are based on collateral form lines featuring Saint-Etienne and Rostov. Manchester United beat Rostov 2-1 on aggregate in the last UEFA Europa League round, whereas Anderlecht lost 2-4 on aggregate to the Selmashi in the UEFA Champions League. Manchester United eliminated Saint-Etienne from the UEFA Europa League 4-0 on aggregate, whereas Anderlecht’s UEFA Europa League Group C matches versus the Greens ended 2-3 at home and 1-1 away.

The UEFA Europa League represents Manchester United’s most likely route into next term’s UEFA Champions League so one thinks that Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho will priortise his team’s continental assignments between which the English Premier League fixture computer has programmed a home game against Chelsea. Mourinho is a pragmatist at heart and he has made it clear that English Premier League officials are doing very little to assist UEFA Europa League participants.

Celta is not a world beater as evidenced by its 2-1-11 home record versus higher ranked Spanish Primera Division sides but Spain’s top flight is a lot stronger than the equivalent in Belgium in which Genk really struggled on its travels during the regular season. One’s choice of Celta at odds of -167  with many bookmakers, including 188Bet and Bwin, boils down to its home statistics against half-decent teams and Genk’s away numbers versus similar opponents.

Tips Summary

Ajax to beat Schalke
Thursday 13th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  +163

Man United to beat Anderlecht
Thursday 13th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  +100

Celta Vigo to beat Genk
Thursday 13th April, 20:05 BST
Odds:  -167

Ajax
Celta Vigo
Europa League
Manchester United

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