One thinks there are several odds-against value options in the final round of UEFA Europa League group games, starting with Wolfsburg to beat Lille in the pivotal Group H match.
Everton has qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 and Lille will accompany the Toffees into the knockout stage if it can register a home win over Wolfsburg. It is a simple equation and one that sets the scene for an open Group H game, something that should favour the attacking away team.
Lille is near the foot of the French Ligue 1 ladder because its attack is nowhere near as good as its defence. Lille is French Ligue 1’s lowest scorer with 11 goals from its 16 top-flight matches, while only Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne has conceded fewer goals in the division.
If Lille needed a point to remain in the UEFA Europa League then it would be a different story. But that Lille needs a win to progress in the UEFA Europa League at the expense of Wolfsburg, which is the German Bundesliga’s second highest scorer, means that one has to side with the away team.
Lille has failed to win any of its last 12 games across all competitions, failing to score more than one goal in any of those matches. Wolfsburg has scored in 13 of its last 14 games across all competitions, scoring more than one goal in 10 of those matches. Heaven help Lille’s players if they do their homework and find out those statistics before running on to the field – their confidence will be extremely low.
Wolfsburg and Lille played out a 1-1 UEFA Europa League Group H draw in Germany two months ago and, although the Wolves required a late Kevin De Bruyne goal to earn one point, it would have been a travesty of justice had they lost. Wolfsburg dominated Lille, which took the lead totally against the run of play when Divock Origi scored a penalty.
Totesport are offering odds of +140 that Wolfsburg qualifies for the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as a result of beating Lille in France. It is the best bet.
Another UEFA Europa League away side that is over the odds is Internazionale, which is available at +250 with several bookmakers, including BetVictor and Sky Bet, to beat Qarabag and end its opponent’s hopes of progressing.
One could be mistaken for viewing Internazionale’s UEFA Europa League game as a dead rubber for the away team but one does not see it that way. Roberto Mancini has just begun his second spell as Internazionale boss and he is desperate to get a second win under his belt following back-to-back losses against Roma and, more disappointedly, Udinese.
There is a clear gulf in class between Internazionale and Qarabag yet bookmakers have installed the latter as the UEFA Europa League Group F match favourite because the former has qualified for knockout stage already. Qarabag has won one of its seven UEFA Europa League games and it has scored only one UEFA Europa League home goal. Internazionale, on the other hand, is unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, winning five of its seven matches, four of them wins to nil.
Finally, Tottenham did not treat Besiktas with respect when the UEFA Europa League Group C rivals met in England and one is expecting Spurs to display the same attitude in Turkey.
Tottenham played a second-string side against Besiktas at White Hart Lane and, having qualified for the UEFA Europa League with one round remaining, one can see Spurs doing likewise on foreign soil. Besiktas was, arguably, the better team at Tottenham two months ago, it has won six and drawn one of its last seven games across all competitions and it has lost just one of its last 24 home matches.
Wolfsburg to beat Lille
11th December 20:05 GMT
Where to Bet: Totesport
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.