Europa League Semifinal: Second Leg Betting Values

Credit:

Mike Hewitt, Getty Images Europe

Atlético Madrid and Marseille opened as the favorites to meet in the Europa League Final prior to the start of the semifinal, and both are still on course to clash mid-May clash.

Atlético Madrid are now the odds-on favorites at -130 to win the Europa League in which the winners earn an automatic bid into next season’s Champions League.

Do either underdog have a chance to spring an upset in the second leg? I’ve broken down the betting market in order to find two value plays for Thursday’s matches (Salzburg vs. Marseille and Atlético Madrid vs. Arsenal).

Odds to advance to final

Odds to win Europa League

 

(All lines as of Wednesday afternoon via Pinnacle sportsbook; All betting percentages as of Wednesday afternoon via offshore market average. Bettors can find all the latest odds and betting percentages with a Sports Insights membership)

Arsenal at Atlético Madrid (Thursday, 3:05 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Atlético Madrid -133, Arsenal +418, Draw +283
Recent Form:

Last Thursday’s opening leg at home was incredibly disappointing for Arsenal as they were up a man for 80 minutes but couldn’t claim a victory. After leading, 1-0, for much of the second half, the Gunners conceded an embarrassing late goal to level the score, 1-1.

Arsenal will now have to score in the second leg in Spain against one of Europe’s best defensive units. Incredibly, Atlético Madrid have not conceded a goal at the Wanda Metropolitano in 12 matches which dates back to January across all competitions.

The Gunners have had terrible results on the road since the start of 2018 and once again suffered a tough loss over the weekend, 2-1, at Manchester United on a 90th minute goal. Atlético Madrid earned another clean sheet in their most recent outing with a late 1-0 victory at Alaves in Spain’s La Liga.

Injuries:

Arsenal fortunately come into the match at nearly full strength with many starters rested over the weekend in Premier League action. Atlético will definitely be without defender Sime Vrsaljko (suspension) and likely without another defender, Juanfran (hamstring).

Potential Starting XI’s:

Atlético: Oblak; Gimenez, Godin, Savic, Hernandez; Koke, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Correa; Costa, Griezmann

Arsenal: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey; Ozil, Mkhitaryan; Lacazette

Betting Market and Value Play:

Roughly 70% of tickets and money have consistently come in on Atlético to win at home, but the line has barely budged around the market. Here’s a look at the betting breakdown around the market, and minor line movement at Pinnacle, one of the sharpest offshore sportsbooks.:

Public bettors obviously don’t have much faith in Arsenal on the road after a poor showing in the first leg, but this is a great spot to go contrarian with the Gunners +0.5 goals (+118). The juice on the O/U of 2.5 has also trended toward the over, so there’s a good chance Arsenal will be able to score against a stingy defense.

 

Marseille at Salzburg (Thursday, 3:05 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Salzburg +106, Marseille +271, Draw +270
Recent Form:

Marseille won the opening leg, 2-0, at home and are in solid position to reach the Europa League Final at -785 odds (88.7% implied probability). They’ll still need to put in a solid performance for the second leg in Austria, as Salzburg haven’t lost at home since 2016 in all competitions (38 matches). Marseille have only won one of six Europa League road games this year and were shutout four times.

However, Marseille do have the big advantage of not conceding a goal in the opening leg. As long as they can score one goal, Salzburg would need at least four to advance. A 3-1 win by Salzburg would still see Marseille advance to the final.

Injuries:

Salzburg have no injury worries for the home leg while Marseille’s only concerns are goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and defensive-mid Hiroki Sakai.

Potential Starting XI’s:

SalzburgWalke; Ulmer, Ćaleta-Car, Ramalho, Lainer; Berisha, Schlager, Samassékou, Haidara; Dabbur, Gulbrandsen

Marseille: Pelé; Amavi, Luiz Gustavo, Rami, Sakai; Sanson, Zambo Anguissa; Payet, Thauvin; Sarr, Mitroglou

Betting Market and Value Play:

Across the market nearly half the bets have come in on Marseille, but there’s been a small adjustment toward Salzburg (+110 to +105). Sportsbooks haven’t been bothered yet by the public wagers and have moved Marseille the other way from +250 to +260.

Salzburg know they can beat Marseille at home and have already done so in this tournament. I’ve backed them multiple times in recent rounds and at plus-money, I think there’s great value again to win and extend their home unbeaten streak to 39 matches. I’d expect the line to come down even more by tomorrow, so Salzburg +105 is where I’m going.

You can also follow me on Twitter (@ArsenalDMC) for the latest soccer news and updates.

Cover photo features Atlético Madrid defender Sime Vrsaljko receiving a red card in the opening leg at Arsenal

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