20th Mar 2014 | Europa League

Spanish Neighbours Battle For Europa Bragging Rights

Betis are rock bottom of La Liga but hold a 2-0 lead heading into their home leg.

Real Betis are in the unusual situation of leading a Europa League tie 2-0 heading into their home leg, are favourites to progress, yet underdogs to win the second match itself.

We need to unravel this apparent puzzle to work out where our money should go. Firstly, the reason why Sevilla are 5/4 favourites to win the second leg can be explained by the La Liga table. Thursday’s visitors are a comfortable 7th while Betis remain 20th, rock bottom, and seven points adrift of anyone.

So the first leg was a fluke? Well not exactly. New Betis boss Gabriel Calderon has steadied the ship nicely and his team are unbeaten in five across all competitions, including three clean sheets on the bounce.

That improved defence should ensure the hosts progress here but the tie dynamic means I don’t fancy Betis to push for a second victory at best odds of 5/2. Instead, the second leg draw looks the most likely outcome at best odds of 13/5 with Bet365.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 10:41 20th Mar, 2014 but subject to change

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