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Slavia Prague v Arsenal Tips: Three bets for tonight's Europa League showdown

Slavia Prague v Arsenal Tips: The tie is poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg
Slavia Prague v Arsenal Tips: The tie is poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg

Thursday evening live on BT Sport we have the second leg of the Europa League quarter final between Slavia Prague and Arsenal. The Gunners have a lot of work to do here after Slavia Prague netted a 94th minute equaliser in the first leg, giving them that all important away goal in a game ending 1-1. With that in mind, the Czech Republic side will fancy their chances having already knocked out Premier league outfit Leicester earlier on in the competition.

It's surprising to see Arsenal as short as 2/5 to qualify with Slavia knocking about around 7/4. Arteta's men have only picked up 1 win in their last 5 games and that came on the weekend against rock bottom Sheffield United. As for Slavia Prague, they haven’t tasted defeat since mid-December so go into this game with every intention of progressing through to the next round.

Arsenal head into this game optimistic about the fitness of youngsters Martinelli and Bukayo Saka who face late fitness tests. The home side have a handful of players one caution away from suspension but with the tie in the balance they will more than likely be risked.

Potential Slavia Prague starting line-up:

Kolar, Bah, Kudela, Zima, Boril, Provod, Hromada, Sima, Stanciu, Olayinka, Kuchta.

Potential Arsenal starting line-up:

Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Pepe, Saka, Martinelli, Lacazette.

Today's football tips
Jan Boril to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-04-15 09:20 Odds subject to change.

I think we could see a few cards here with so much at stake, and one player that stands out to me in this market is Slavia left back Jan Boril. Bet365 have him priced at 3/1 and I think there is some value to be had.

The experienced left back has a decent card record throughout time at Slavia and I fancy him to pick another one up here. Boril is averaging by far the most fouls per game for Slavia in Europe this season, collecting a massive 2.5 fouls per game.

Factoring in the fact they should be defending from the off it could be a long night for the left back. The constant threat of either Pepe or Saka down that flank should give him a lot of opportunities to win the ball, but also many chances for the wingers to be brought down. One mistimed tackle or an accumulation of fouls should see the ageing defender in the ref's book.

Europa League betting
Pepe to score anytime
Odds correct as of 2021-04-15 09:20 Odds subject to change.

It's fair to say Pepe struggled to adapt in his first season with Arsenal, but there is no questioning that he has improved in his second. The Ivorian scored off the bench in the first leg, and if he’s to start here I reckon 11/5 is a good price for him to notch again.

In all competitions, Pepe has 9 goals to his name in limited appearances but is currently top scorer for the Gunners in Europe with 4 goals. The tricky winger has bucket loads of talent and a wonderful left peg but fails to show it on a consistent basis. If he can play his best game here, I reckon he can inspire the Gunners to another European semi-final and hopefully score in the process.

In a game where I am not expecting the goals to flow, I wouldn’t put anyone off the 7/1 quotes for Pepe to score first if you are after a much bigger price.

Jan Boril and David Zima to be carded
Odds correct as of 2021-04-15 09:20 Odds subject to change.

For my longshot, I'm adding another booking to the Jan Boril bet. Slavia could see a few cards here, especially if they are holding on in the latter stages of the game. The Czech's also hold the 3rd worst disciplinary record in the competition.

Zima is a chunky 11/2 for a card as a single, but I've opted to double him up with Boril giving us a huge 25/1 shot. The inexperienced centre back has been carded in all of his last 3 Europa League games and was carded in the first leg. The step up in quality in comparison to the Czech league looks to have caused Zima a few problems; the young centre half has 1 yellow in 16 league games, but this inflates to 4 yellows in 9 Europa League starts!

For comparison purposes, this exact bet is as short as 6/1 on Betfair and 12/1 on William Hill, so the 25/1 offered on bet365 I will happily take as my longshot.

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