Published on February 13th, 2011 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
Europa League Predictions 17th Feb
CSKA Moscow have a 100% winning record so far in the competition and face PAOK Salonika in the first knockout round of the Europa League. PAOK did qualify with a decent points haul of 11 points with 1-0 victories over Villareal and Dinamo Zagreb, but PAOK have built their moderate success on keeping games tight, but it’s goals for the Greek side that worry me. PAOK managed just 5 in 6 Europa League games and have only managed 23 goals in 22 games in the Greek Super League. CSKA Moscow finished runners up in the Russian Premier League behind Zenit, but their squad is glittered with emerging talent. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, fellow Russian Alan Dzagoev, Japanese star Keisuke Honda, Zoran Tosic (formerly of Manchester United) and striker Thomas Necid are all names to keep an eye on. CSKA Moscow did beat Palermo convincingly 3-0 away from home in Group F and I don’t expect PAOK Salonika to be much more of a challenge.
CSKA Moscow to win @2.0
Benfica fell out of Champions League Group B and into the Europa League and face a Stuttgart side who stormed Group H with 5 wins out of 6. Stuttgart have been inconsistent since the Winter Break with 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats and find themselves in 17th place. Relegation remains a real possibility for the German side who finished 6th in the Bundesliga last year and Die Roten’s priority is surely to maintain their status in the German top flight. Benfica currently occupy 2nd position in Liga Zon Sagres but include a talented pool of footballers that includes Pablo Aimar, Javier Saviola and Oscar Cardozo. Benfica are in superb form and have won their last 8 successive games in the league and I fully expect Benfica to pick up a win at Estadio da Luz.
Benfica to win @1.61