Betting round-up: English eyes to smile?

Several English teams feature in some intriguing encounters in the Europa League on Thursday, with punters having several tasty odds to consider Indonesia   By PAUL GOUGH
Betting editor

There might be no English teams left in the Champions League this season, but their domination of the Europa League looks set to continue when the first leg quarter-final matches are played on Thursday [Friday morning Australian time].

Three English Premier League teams have reached the last eight in Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle with both Spurs and the Blues hot favourites to reach the last four, while the Geordie club face a tougher task but are good value to overcome Portuguese leaders Benfica over two legs.

As a result of hot domestic form Benfica, head into their home leg as the $1.44 favourites at Centrebet and $1.50 at Betfair, with Newcastle all-but written off at $7.50 and $8.80 respectively.

But Newcastle managed a 0-0 draw away in freezing Russia against Anzhi in the last round and are certainly capable of grabbing another draw in Lisbon at odds of $4 at Centrebet and $4.40 at Betfair.

However, even if Benfica win the first leg narrowly - say by 2-1, which is at the attractive odds of $9.40 at Betfair in correct-score betting - Newcastle will fancy their chances of making up the deficit at home next week.

While we expect Benfica to win the first leg at home, Newcastle are great value at odds of $3 at Betfair to progress over the two legs.  Benfica are the $1.47 favourites in that market.

Spurs, Benfica and Fenerbahce to win their first-leg matches at Betfair
Tottenham and Basel to draw their first leg at $1.58 at Betfair

Meanwhile, Tottenham and Chelsea should have few problems against Swiss side Basel and Russian club Rubin Kazan respectively in their quarter-final ties.

Both are red-hot favourites to win the first leg at home, with Chelsea - fresh from knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup - at odds of $1.58 at Betfair, while Spurs are even shorter at $1.40.

Rubin are the $7.40 outsiders at Betfair but could land a draw at odds of $4.30 if Chelsea are feeling the pinch of what will be their third game in six days.

Basel are at double-figure odds of $10 at Betfair against Spurs, while even the draw is paying the big odds of $5.10.

Meanwhile, Fenerbahce are the $2.34 favourites at Betfair to win the first leg at home in the remaining quarter-final against fifth-placed Italian side Lazio at $3.55, while the draw is paying $3.55.

*Note prices are subject to change

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