European football midweek preview13th May 2018 |
Fulham vs Derby (Championship play-off)
Derby hold a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg of this Championship play-off, with a place in the Wembley showpiece on the line. Fulham’s 2017/18 has, in many ways, mirrored their 2016/17: a slow start was followed by a brilliant end, but the Cottagers surprisingly fell away in the play-offs last term and the fear is that the same could happen this time around. Gary Rowett’s Derby side will look to keep things tight early on in west London, so a goalless first half could represent good value at 37/20.
Aston Villa vs Middlesbrough (Championship play-off)
The other second-tier play-off semi-final was also settled by a single goal, with Mile Jedinak’s effort providing decisive as Aston Villa emerged victorious at the Riverside Stadium. Steve Bruce’s men are therefore in pole position to advance to the final given that the second leg is taking place at Villa Park, but Middlesbrough may thrive with the pressure off and Tony Pulis’ side certainly possess the quality to turn this tie around. Backing a draw on the night at 41/20 could be the way to go here.
Marseille vs Atletico Madrid (Europa League)
The champions of Europe’s secondary continental competition will be crowned on Wednesday night, when Marseille will lock horns with Atletico Madrid in Lyon. Diego Simeone’s side eased past Arsenal 2-1 in the semi-finals and have plenty of experience of European finals, although it is worth noting they lost their last two to Real Madrid in the Champions League. Marseille, meanwhile, have frequently been thrilling to watch in the Europa League this term, but there was an element of good fortune to their victory over Red Bull Salzburg in the last four. Playing in France may help Rudi Garcia’s men, but Atleti’s nous should get them over the line – consider a win for Diego Simeone’s side and under 2.5 goals in total, available at 11/5.
Rotherham vs Scunthorpe (League One play-off)
There is everything to play for in this third-tier play-off, with Scunthorpe and Rotherham drawing 2-2 in the first leg at Glanford Park last week. High-stakes games such as these are often tight, cautious affairs, but there was nothing in the first meeting between these sides to suggest that will be the case in Wednesday’s decider at the New York Stadium. With that in mind, consider putting some money on more than 2.5 goals being scored – that particular wager can be found in the sportsbook at a price of 21/20.
Wolfsburg vs Holstein Kiel (Bundesliga play-off)
This has been a disastrous campaign for Wolfsburg, a club who finished second in the Bundesliga and almost beat Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as recently as 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively. A 16th-place finish at least means the Wolves avoided an automatic drop to the second tier, but they will have to go through the drama of a relegation play off against Holsten Kiel, who finished third in the 2. Bundesliga. Wolfsburg will surely prove too strong over two legs, and a win to nil could pay dividends at 9/5.
Exeter vs Lincoln (League Two play-off)
There was nothing to choose between Exeter and Lincoln last time out, with a goalless draw leaving this play-off finely poised. The Grecians arguably have a slight advantage given that the next 90 minutes will be taking place in front of their own supporters at St James Park, and Paul Tisdale’s charges did finish above Lincoln in the division. An Exeter victory looks tempting at odds of 31/20.