Zenit v Sevilla
Thursday April 23, 20:05
Sevilla have a narrow advantage after a 2-1 comeback win in the first leg against Zenit at the Sanchez Pizjuan. After Zenit grabbed a precious away goal through Alexander Ryazantsev, Sevilla mounted a stirring late comeback with late goals from the irrepressible Carlos Bacca and Denis Suarez, who won it with a spectacular volley.
Sevilla have defended their Europa League crown superbly, and they will feel they have every chance of once again reaching the last four. They have now won all five of their knockout matches, and in all competitions Unai Emery’s men have put together a 12-match unbeaten run. One of the keys to that sequence is that they almost always score – Los Rojiblancos have drawn a blank in just six of their 49 games in all competitions this term.
Zenit have a good home record, and have won five of their seven European home games this term. Coach Andre Villas Boas likes his teams to control possession and defend in an organised manner, but Sevilla will give them a huge test in that regard, especially in the absence of suspended defensive behemoth Ezequiel Garay.
The Russian league leaders welcome back Hulk, Danny and Domenico Criscito from bans, but Ryazantsev is suspended and Viktor Fayzulin is still injured. Sevilla have no fresh injury or suspension worries.
Zenit would love to try and sneak this 1-0, but I don’t think Sevilla will sit back and allow that to happen. Emery will go for an away goal and play positively in the hope that Bacca and/or the dangerous Kevin Gameiro can find the gaps left by the absence of Garay. Sevilla’s last four Europa League games have all featured three goals or more, and if they score in Russia, the hosts will have to come out all guns blazing. At [1.97], I think Over 2.5 Goals is a fair shout.
Back Over 2.5 Goals at [1.97]
2014/15 Europa League P/L (1pt per bet)
Points Staked: 82
Points Returned: 82.69
P/L: +0.69 points