There are several mouth-watering clashes as the Europa League returns on Thursday, many of which could affect the final make-up of a number of groups
|By PAUL GOUGH
Fresh from a gallant 0-0 draw away to Serie A leaders Juventus, in-form Italian club Lazio look a good bet to win at home against struggling English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur in the pick of the 24 Europa League matches being played on Thursday.
Lazio and Spurs are both unbeaten in Group J and are favoured to be the two teams to progress from the group and into the knockout stages, with the Rome-based club leading the group on eight points ahead of Spurs on six, Slovenian outfit Maribor on four and Greek club Panathinaikos last with just two points.
Lazio are the $2.44 favourites with Betfair, with Spurs at $3.20 and the draw at $3.45. And, based on the recent form of the two sides, it is hard to recommend anything other than a home win.
However, regardless of the result on Thursday, both sides are favoured to progress from the group, with Spurs the fourth favourites overall to win the competition at $15 while Lazio are eighth favourites, currently paying $27 with Betfair.
Defending champions Atletico Madrid remain the $8.40 favourites with Betfair to claim their third Europa League title in four seasons, and the La Liga can secure their place in the knockout stages out of Group B when they face an already eliminated Hapoel Tel Aviv at home.
They are one of the shortest-priced favourites of the night at just $1.18 at Betfair to do just that, with Hapoel given no chance at $20.
|Lazio to win v Tottenham at $2.44 at Betfair
||Rubin Kazan and Inter Milan to draw at $3.65 at Betfair|
In Group A, two of the other leading contenders to win the competition in Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and English giants Liverpool face crucial games in what has been one of the most even groups.
Anzhi lead on seven points with Liverpool and Swiss club Young Boys on six, while Italian club Udinese are also still in contention on four.
But both Anzhi at $1.67 at Betfair against Udinese at $6 and Liverpool at $1.45 compared to Young Boys at $8.80 are favoured to win their matches on Thursday.
In Group D, unbeaten Newcastle are favourites to book their spot in the knockout stages at home to bottom-placed Maritimo, with the Magpies at $1.44 compared to $9.20 for the visitors.
Russian club Rubin Kazan host Italian giants and three time winners of this competition Inter Milan in a huge game in Group H.
Top spot is up for grabs, although both sides are already safely through to the knockout stages.
But it is Rubin Kazan, on the back of a six game winning streak, that are the $2.06 favourites at Betfair, with Inter at $4 and the draw good value at $3.65.
*Note prices subject to change