Kamis, 22 November 2012

Europa League Treble: Home wins for Anzhi, Hannover and Monchengladbach

UEFA Europa League, Anzhi Makhachkala v Liverpool, Lacina Traore, Mbark Boussoufa

After overcoming Liverpool last time out, Anzhi have the opportunity to book their place in the next round of the Europa League when they play host to Udinese this afternoon.

A win for the Russians could well spell the end for the visitors' European campaign, so it is no surprise that both teams plan to field their strongest possible line-ups for this crucial encounter, and we should see an open game.

This will probably suit Guus Hiddink's men, who have been imperious at home so far in this competition, winning all five matches without conceding a single goal, a run stretching back to July 19, 2012.

The Zebrette, on the other hand, have only won two of their last 11 away ties in this competition, and have lost six of those matches on the road.

The Italians were sligh tly fortunate to snatch a late equaliser in their home game against Anzhi, but should have no such luck this time, as the hosts look like great value at 8/13 (1.62) with William Hill to secure a place in the final 32 here.

For the second season in a row, Hannover have exceeded themselves in the Europa League, and are already sure of a place in the next round thanks to three wins and a draw so far in Group L.

However, they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas just yet, as they will be keen to collect all three points in order to secure top spot before their tricky final group game away to Levante.

Twente need a win to have even a small chance of progressing. But, they will not be confident considering the hosts have won seven of t heir last eight in this competition, and have only ever lost once on home territory in the Europa League - against eventual winners Atletico Madrid last season.

Although Mirko Slomka is set to rest a couple of players in anticipation of this weekend's league match against Bayern Munich, the hosts will still field a fairly strong line-up, and whoever plays should be keen to impress their coach for the upcoming games.

This squad rotation means that Hannover are available at a mouth-watering 23/20 (2.15), and with key men Jan Schlaudraff and Mohammed Abdellaoue still expected to feature, the Germans should certainly have enough to see off a side that have not won a game in this year's competition.

It is make or break for Borussia Monchengladbach on Thursday evening, as anything less than a win against AEL would see them staring elimination in the face should Marseille beat Fenerbahce in the other Group C game.

However, three points would seal qualification for the Germans should the Turkish side do them a favour and win in France, so with everything to play for, the Foals will be completely fired up when the Cypriot minnows come to town.

The team from Limassol have no chance of progressing after picking up a solitary point from their four matches, and they missed a 98th-minute penalty in the home tie against tonight's opposition which ultimately resulted in a goal-less draw.

However, Lucien Favre's men have been in much more prolific form since that stalemate, scoring two goals in each of the last three Europa League ties, so should be able to knock a few in against a team that have lost their last three away fixtures in this competition by an aggregate scoreline of 11-1.

Considering Limassol are also missing several players through injury, this looks like a solid home win here, at odds of 1/3 (1.33).

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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