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Goals guaranteed between Basel and Valencia in Europa League quarters

| 03.04.2014

A minimum of four goals have flown in on every occasion Spanish heavyweights Valencia have faced Swiss Super League side Basel. Coral’s price for total goals being over 3.5 is a tempting 3/1.

Los Che are unbeaten in four (three wins and a draw) against this opposition, so start as firm 5/4 favourites for victory in this Europa League quarter-final first leg away in Switzerland. Juan Antonio Pizzi’s team are also odds-on to qualify from the tie at 4/9.

A repeat of the 2-2 draw in Basel when these sides last met (2002/03 Champions League group stage) is a 16/1 shot. If this match finishes with the scores level, there are odds of 12/5.

Basel, who overcame Red Bull Salzburg to set up this clash, will be boosted by the return of set piece threat Fabian Schar. He made his first appearance of 2014 – a brief cameo off the bench – in their last outing after recovering from a sprained ankle, and the defender is 11/2 to score anytime.

Murat Yakin’s men are 9/4 outsiders on the night (and 7/4 to make the last four), however, because of injuries and the fact they have never beaten Valencia. Skipper Marco Streller, who has three Europa League goals in two competition outings this term, is a major miss for the hosts with an abductor muscle tear.

Backup striker Giovanni Sio is banned, so Basel options up front are limited. Czech defender Marek Suchy is suspended too, and Bulgarian centre half Ivan Ivanov and left back Behrang Safari are both missing with knee and hamstring problems.

The Bats, meanwhile, have relied on goals from 10 different players in the Europa League. Chief among those are youngsters Paco Alcacer (four in eight) and Fede Cartabia (three in as many). Back these two youthful forwards to score anytime at 6/4 and 10/3 respectively.

Elsewhere in the Europa quarters, 13/10 tournament favourites Juventus are at Lyon. The Old Lady are odds-on at 4/6 to win in France, but must do so without banned midfielder Arturo Vidal. A draw is 14/5 here.

Antonio Conte’s Juve needed an Andrea Pirlo free kick to get past Fiorentina in the last round, but should make lighter work of Lyon (4/1 to win the first leg), who have fallen behind mega rich PSG and Monaco on their domestic scene.

Portuguese table toppers Benfica are odds-on at 8/11 for a win at AZ Alkmaar (4/1). The sides have never met, but the Lisbon giants are on a 27-match unbeaten run in league and European games. This one is also 14/5 to be level.

Sevilla face fellow competition winners Porto at the Estadio do Dragao, but the hosts are 10/11 for victory in the first leg. The away team has always been victorious when these teams have met.

Spanish side Sevilla have prolific trio Ivan Rakitic (11/4 anytime), Kevin Gameiro (9/4) and Carlos Bacca (2/1) in their ranks, however, and look tempting at 16/5 for an away win.

Punters cannot count maverick winger Ricardo Quaresma out for Porto, however. He has averaged a goal every other game since returning to them, so odds of 7/4 for him to net anytime are attractive. A draw in this quarter is 5/2.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.