EUROPA LEAGUE: Our football tipster The Ultra previews Thursday’s Europa League games between SEVILLA v WEST HAM, BARCELONA v GALATASARAY and RANGERS v RED STAR BELGRADE allwith a recommended BETDAQ bet and extended stats.


5.45pm We’re down to the Last 16 of the Europa League and we have some fantastic fixtures on Thursday on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. Barcelona have really turned things around recently, and they are now favourites to win the competition. We still have some top class teams left though, and we start the evening with two of those as Sevilla host West Ham. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for West Ham getting Sevilla in the draw. They were fantastic in the Group stage and got one of the toughest draws out there. Sevilla have been having a great season in La Liga and they will be incredibly tough to beat. I know Barcelona and Atletico Madrid haven’t been at their best this season, but Sevilla have taken full advantage of that and currently sit in second. You could say they should have challenged Real Madrid a little more given Real dropped points in January but Sevilla never took their chances; however finishing second will still be a great achievement for them and they will have their eye on this competition now. They have a superb record in the Europa League before they moved up to the Champions League.

You could also say that Sevilla will be disappointed to actually be in the Europa League, but given their history in the competition they can refocus and go for it. West Ham have been fantastic in the Premier League too this season, but you have to feel this fixture falls at the bad time for The Hammers. When you look at their xG figures you can clearly see they are struggling lately and not creating as many chances as they were towards the start of the season. I was disappointed to see Sevilla only draw 0-0 away to Alaves recently, losing further points in their bid to put even a small amount of pressure on Real Madrid. Sevilla always tend to keep games tight and grind out wins, and with West Ham not creating a lot in front of goal under 2.5 goals stands out here at 1.68. In the match odds market, I feel Sevilla are the correct price at 2.16 – while I expect a low scoring game, I can see them grinding out a win in the second half. West Ham would be delighted with a draw here, so I can see them sitting back and being quite cagey – over all it’s hard to get away from unders here as the fixture just sets up for a very low scoring and cagey game.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.68 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● West Ham will be Sevilla’s 11th different English opponent in European competition. Sevilla are winless across their last three home matches against such sides, most recently losing 4-0 against Chelsea in the Champions League group stages last season.
● West Ham’s meetings with Sevilla will be their first against Spanish opposition in European competition in over 40 years, since they won 6-4 on aggregate against Real Madrid Castilla in the first round of the 1980-81 Cup Winners’ Cup.
● Sevilla have progressed have 29 of their last 31 knockout stage ties in the UEFA Cup/Europa League (94%), progressing from all three ties against English opponents in this time (2006-07 QF vs Spurs, 2019-20 QF vs Wolves, 2019-20 SF vs Man Utd).
● This is the latest stage West Ham have reached in a major European competition since the 1980-81 Cup Winners’ Cup, when they were ultimately eliminated by Dinamo Tbilisi in the quarter-finals after eliminating FC Politehnica Timisoara in the Last 16.
● Sevilla forward Anthony Martial scored six goals against West Ham in all competitions for Manchester United, only scoring more against Everton (7) during his time at the club. This includes three goals in five cup matches.


8pm Next we have the tournament favourites in action as Barcelona host Galatasaray. Barcelona have really improved in recent weeks and they are really in a good place at the moment. Of course, they have a long way to go and to be honest they will probably never get back to the level they were at with Messi, but they are getting their swagger back with Xavi in charge now. They are going to have a lot of setbacks over the next number of years, but I feel Xavi will eventually lead them to another La Liga title. This should be an easy win for Barcelona as Galatasaray are having a terrible season this year in Turkey. They currently sit in the bottom half of the table in 12th, and that is a remarkable drop off since finishing second last season. They lifted the title in 2018/19, and then dropped to 6th the season after so maybe they can bounce back but things are heading in the wrong direction for Galatasaray. We’ve all seen the incredible videos of the atmosphere in Turkey and while that might be a difficult night for Barcelona it’s hard to see any issues here. I’d expect Barcelona to totally outclass this Galatasaray side and the market agrees with the home side trading as short as 1.18. It’s no surprise that is the shortest price of any team in the Europa League tonight!

I can’t see past a comfortable Barcelona win here, and this is going to be a case of how many goals rather than will they win. These games are somethings hard to judge because there’s such a gulf in class between the teams and between the leagues they play in. You have to give Galatasaray for topping their Group though and they were unbeaten too. In that sense they have been unlucky to get Barcelona in the draw after topping their Group, but their Group wasn’t the strongest. Barcelona have been banging in goals for fun recently – they scored four goals for three games in a row before beating Elche 2-1 at the weekend. However, they finished that game with an xG of 4.53 which is obviously a very impressive performance away from home. That does give you a lot of confidence in Barcelona improving too because they were struggling away from home at the start of the season. Given all the goals and chances Barcelona have been scoring and creating recently, I’m happy to back Any Other Home Win at 3.0 in the Correct Score market. Barcelona will know that this might be a tricky away day with the atmosphere, and they can put the tie to bed here.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Any Other Home Win Correct Score at 3.0 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Barcelona have faced Galatasaray eight times previously in Europe (W5 D2 L1), winning each of the last three meetings. Barcelona won 3-1 in their last encounter, a Champions League group stage match in 2002-03, with goals from Dani García, Gerard López and Geovanni.
● Galatasaray have never won at Camp Nou against Barcelona, avoiding defeat just once – a 2-2 draw in the Champions League in 2001-02. Galatasaray’s only win in 16 away matches against Spanish sides (D4 L11) came against Mallorca in the UEFA Cup in 1999-2000.
● Barcelona have lost only two of their last 35 home matches in the knockout rounds of major European competitions (W25 D8), against FC Bayern München in 2012-13 and Paris Saint-Germain in 2020-21, both in the Champions League.
● Including qualifying rounds, Galatasaray are unbeaten across their last 10 matches in European competition (W5 D5), their longest run of games without defeat in Europe since July-December 2009 (11).
● Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 23 goals in 45 appearances in the Europa League; only three players have scored more in the competition – Radamel Falcao (30), Aritz Aduriz (26) and Munas Dabbur (24).


8pm We finish the evening with Rangers hosting Red Star Belgrade. Rangers will be delighted with the draw here after coming through the thriller with Dortmund. They gave their fans a night they will never forget when beating Dortmund 4-2 in Germany and they held onto their lead in Scotland with a 2-2. It could have got nervy when they went 2-1 down in the second leg, but they bounced back nicely. Rangers have been involved in some incredible high scoring games in the Europa League over the last few years and they will be hoping for less drama in this tie! On paper, Rangers should win here but Red Star Belgrade did top their Group and it will also be a tricky away tie for Rangers. That puts pressure on this game, and Rangers will need a good performance to win. Red Star Belgrade tend to keep their games very tight, and their Group games didn’t see many goals. Rangers played a very open game against Dortmund, probably the most entertaining game of the last round to be honest in both legs but I would expect this to be a much tighter tie.

Rangers are odds on favourites, and I don’t see any value in the match odds market here. They should win, but I feel the 1.78 is the correct price – it’s hard to argue that they should be shorter here. We know Red Star Belgrade are a limited side but they were unbeaten away from home in the Group stage. They will set up to defend here, as they usually do, but especially so because they are away from home and Rangers will have to work very hard to win here. I can see Rangers grinding them down in the second half for a 1-0 or 2-0 win, and under 2.5 goals is my best bet here at 1.91. Although Rangers had an incredibly end-to-end game with Dortmund their Group games didn’t have many goals. I just feel this game lines up for unders and a very tight game – Red Star Belgrade will put XI men behind the ball and be very happy with a draw here. I’d expect a pretty quiet game, and I also wouldn’t be surprised to see 0-0 at half-time which the game possibly opening up a little in the second half.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.91 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->


● Rangers will face Crvena Zvezda for an eighth and ninth time, which will make them their second most common opponent in Europe after Borussia Dortmund (10). The last meeting was in Champions League qualifying in 2007-08, with Nacho Novo scoring the only goal of the fixture.
● Crvena Zvezda have only won one of their previous six matches away to Scottish opponents in European competition, with that victory coming in their first such match back in November 1961 against Hibernian in the Fairs Cup.
● Rangers have reached the Last 16 of the UEFA Cup/Europa League for the ninth time; they have only managed to progress once from the previous eight occasions, eliminating SV Werder Bremen in 2007-08. They went all the way to the final of the competition that year before losing to Zenit St. Petersburg.
● Crvena Zvezda have reached the Last 16 stage of a major European competition for the first time since 1996-97 in the Cup Winners’ Cup, when they were eliminated by Barcelona. The last time they progressed beyond this stage of the UEFA Cup/Europa League was in 1978-79, reaching the final that year.
● Alfredo Morelos has scored six goals in Europe for Rangers this season – one more goal would see him surpass James Forrest in 1964-65 as the player with the outright most goals in a single season in major European competition for the club (excluding qualifiers).