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Soccer Betting Free Picks For Thursday: Europa League – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 1st, 2010 by David Glisan

Soccer Betting Free Picks For Thursday:  Europa League
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April Fools Day brings soccer betting action in the UEFA Europa League.  Liverpool is currently the favorites to win the competition, but face a tough test on Thursday as they travel to Portugal to face SL Benfica at the Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon.  Liverpool advanced to this stage by defeating Lille 3-1 on the aggregate while Benfica topped French team Marseille 3-2 aggregate.  This game goes at 12:05 PM Pacific/3:05 PM Eastern and unless I’m mistaken there’s no live TV in the US.


Liverpool could be somewhat apprehensive about this game after seeing what has happened to their Premier League compatriots in their recent European Cup competitions.  Manchester United lost their Champions League quarterfinal opener at Bayern Munich, and may have lost superstar striker Wayne Rooney to an ankle injury.  On Wednesday, Arsenal managed a 2-2 draw in their quarterfinal opener at home against Barcelona, but team captain Cesc Fabregas could be done for the year after suffering what is most likely a broken leg.

Were this not enough to worry about, Liverpool also faces a very tough Benfica team in their Europa League quarterfinal opener.  Benfica leads Portugal’s Liga, has 11 wins and a draw in 12 league games at home and is an offensive powerhouse having scored 61 goals on the season.  That’s 11 more than FC Porto’s 50 with no other team in the circuit scoring more than 34.  They’re also 5-0-1 at home in their last 6 Europa League games and have outscored their opponents 18-2.

Benfica’s home dominance is a concern since Liverpool just doesn’t play well on the road at any level.  They’ve got a dismal road record in the Premier League with 4 wins, 8 losses and 4 draws.  By way of comparison, this road record is identical to 14th place Wolverhampton.  Liverpool is very tough on their home pitch at Anfield where they’ve only lost twice this year in EPL play.  They’ve also struggled on the road in European Cup play.  They went 1-2-1 in Champions League away action being outscored 6-2.  They did beat overmatched Unirea Urziceni on the road, but did nothing in the road leg against Lille.  They’ve also lost three straight to Benfica without scoring a single goal.

Liverpool may be able to advance with a blowout performance on their tough home field, but they’ll have their hands full and then some in this leg.  Benfica destroyed Premier League representative Everton in the group stages of Europa League play, winning both legs by a combined 7-0 score.  Liverpool would be happy to leave Portugal with a draw, but even that is a ‘best case scenario’.  We’ll play the home team on the two way moneyline, so we’ll get a refund if it ends in a draw but we look for a solid Benfica win.  This price is from BetUS.


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