Home Sports Football Europa League Simeone can derail Lokomotiv’s challenge
Simeone can derail Lokomotiv’s challenge

Simeone can derail Lokomotiv’s challenge


Atletico Madrid can move closer to winning the Europa League for the third time in the last nine years by getting the better of Lokomotiv Moscow over two legs and reaching the quarter-finals of this season’s competition.

Atletico, Champions League finalists in 2014 and 2016, beat Fulham in the 2010 Europa League final and Athletic Bilbao two years later. They defeated Copenhagen in the round of 32 last month after finishing third behind Roma and Chelsea in their Champions League group before Christmas.

Diego Simeone’s side are second in La Liga, eight points behind Barcelona, who beat them 1-0 at the weekend.

Atletico, 43/20 to win the Europa League outright, are 47/20 to beat Lokomotiv by a two-goal margin in Thursday’s first leg.

Arsenal have lost five of their last seven Premier League games heading into their round of 16 tie with AC Milan, who are unbeaten in their last 13 matches in all competitions.

Gennaro Gattuso’s side are 7/4 to keep a clean sheet at the San Siro and 27/4 to beat the Gunners 1-0.

There does not appear to be much chance of Borussia Dortmund, Lazio or Sporting Lisbon being knocked out by Red Bull Salzburg, Dynamo Kiev or Viktoria Plzen respectively, but the tie between CSKA Moscow and Lyon could be a tight affair.

Both teams are better defensively than they are going forward so the goalless draw in Russia could be the best bet at 31/4.

Marseille should be too strong for an Athletic Bilbao side that are struggling domestically. The French team are 23/4 to win the first leg from behind.

RB Leipzig finished a disappointing third behind Besiktas and Porto in their Champions League group but secured an impressive aggregate victory against Napoli in the Europa League round of 32 and are good value at 11/1 to win the competition outright this season.

They should progress against a Zenit St Petersburg side that find goals hard to come by so a 2-0 victory for the German side at 27/4 should not be ignored.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.