Bulls have Europa League wings!
They may have been forced to drop the name of their main sponsor when they play in the competition, but there is little doubt that Austrian outfit FC Salzburg have been given Europa Cup wings this season. After winning all six of their group phase encounters, the Bulls continued to stun experts around the continent by thrashing Dutch league-leaders Ajax in the last thirty two.
Motivated by an article on the Dutch side’s homepage which described them as a “sparring partner”, Salzburg’s aggressive style of play took Ajax completely by surprise in the first leg in Amsterdam. They left their opponents with absolutely no time or space to work with and produced some thrilling football on the counter attack themselves before running out 3:0 winners. The return leg, in front of a full house of 30,000, ended in a 3-1 win for the Bulls and the whole city now believes that the team has got what it takes to go a long way in the competition this year.
Next up are Swiss side FC Basel who just failed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League in a group that saw Chelsea and Schalke advance. Despite their impressive success in Europe’s elite competition in recent years, Basel coach Murat Yakin will have been warned by what he saw Salzburg do to Ajax and there is little chance of the Austrians being underestimated again.
Salzburg, however, are running away with the domestic league title and have forgotten what it is like to lose both at home and abroad. Confidence in German-coach Roger Schmidt’s side is absolutely sky-high and it will take two fine performances by Basel to put the brakes on the Bulls’ current head of steam!
FC Basel vs. FC Salzburg, First-Leg Odds
Team to Qualify
Odds provided by www.allyoubet.ag are correct as of today, but subject to change.
CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football. Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.