While plenty of the attention in the soccer world is going to the Champions League, don’t think for a second that no one has forgotten about the Europa League. There are still eight teams left in the competition, but things will be cut in half later this week. In this piece, we have Europa League picks for the quarterfinals, with plenty of eyes going to be on FC Barcelona. Will the La Liga giants move on?
Barcelona is the favorite to take down Frankfurt in the second leg
It goes without saying, but Barcelona is the favorite to take down Frankfurt in the second leg of their quarterfinals showdown. When these two teams met in the first leg over in Germany, Frankfurt actually opened up the scoring to stun the Catalonian side. Was an upset going to be recorded? That didn’t turn out to be the case, as Barcelona tied things up and the match ended at 1-1.
Now, these two teams will be facing off on Thursday at the Camp Nou. That stadium will be packed, as the local fans will be hoping that Barcelona will be able to move on and keep their championship hopes alive. There was plenty of disappointment when this team was eliminated from the Champions League, but a title in the Europa League would silence all of the haters.
Things are really going well for Barcelona right now, as Xavi has really helped turn the team around ever since he took over as manager. Guys like Pedri, Ferran Torres and others have really stepped their game up which has been great to see. This will need to be the case in the second leg as well, as anything other than a win for Barcelona would be unacceptable.
According to the best rated sportsbooks, Barcelona will enter this match with a head-turning -250 odds for this meeting. Frankfurt will be the major underdogs, as they’ve been set at +650. Barcelona knows the pressure will be on, but we think they’ll be able to handle things. We’re going with them as our pick. Do you agree? Check out our soccer betting sites and get a wager in.
Lyon is the favorite to take down West Ham on Thursday
In another highly-anticipated Europa League showdown, Lyon is the favorite to take down West Ham on Thursday when they meet in France. These two teams faced off in London in the first leg at the West Ham Stadium, with the two sides finishing at 1-1. It was a disappointing result for the English Premier League side, and it now has Lyon fans jacked up about them potentially moving on to the semifinals.
With the second leg taking place in France too in front of Lyon’s home fans, this gives the Ligue 1 team the upper hand leading up to things. This doesn’t mean that West Ham won’t go down without putting up a fight. What helps West Ham here too is that star midfielder Declan Rice will be motivated to try and help his team move on. Rice is a true stud.
Reports have linked Rice with a potential move to Manchester United, with the Red Devils ready to break a record fee to land him. That just tells you the kind of class that Rice has on the pitch. With that said, Lyon is also loaded with talent on both ends of the pitch and there’s a reason they are the favorites to win the second leg and get itself to the next round.
Per the oddsmakers, Lyon holds +105 odds to beat West Ham on Thursday. Meanwhile for West Ham, they’re the underdogs in this case at +250. West Ham’s back is going to be against the wall in this one, especially with this being a road contest for them. Lyon is going to make life incredibly difficult for them. We think that Lyon will be the ones to get the job done.
Barcelona remains the favorites to win the Europa League title
To no one’s surprise, Barcelona remains the favorites to win the Europa Leaguetitle this May. They’re no question the biggest name left in the tourney, and all their star power is tremendous. We discussed multiple players above, but you also can’t forget about how big the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been. The former Arsenal star has been a goal machine for Barcelona.
Things didn’t end well for Aubameyang in the English Premier League, but he’s reminded people of just how brilliant he can be with Barcelona. He’s been scoring goals left and right, and this of course has been amazing to see for Xavi and the rest of his coaching staff. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Aubameyang score a goal in the second leg this Thursday against Frankfurt.
With Barcelona playing so well, they have +115 odds to win the Europa League title. Other teams in the hunt are RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Lyon. While those teams taking home the trophy would be an amazing story, we simply don’t see anyone getting in the way of Barcelona lifting the trophy in the final. We’re going with Barcelona as our pick to win the Europa League as a whole.
Barcelona vs. Frankfurt
Camp Nou ,C. d'Arístides Maillol, 12,Barcelona ,Spain -08028
Barcelona and Frankfurt are all set to meet in the Europa League quarterfinals at the Camp Nou