The 2014 Europa League semi-final 2nd leg matches should be a lot more entertaining than the Champions League. Dortmund (4-1) and Bayern (4-0) both earned blowout wins in the Champions League semi-finals (1st leg), so the 2nd leg is unlikely to be that exciting.
Chelsea (2-1) and Fenerbahce (1-0) both earned victories in the 1st leg of the Europa League semi-finals matches. Chelsea should have a spot in the finals locked up, as they now travel back to Stamford Bridge where they should dominate FC Basel.
Benfica who was favoured to qualify over Fenerbahce will have some work to do at the Estadio da Luz. Benfica has yet to lose at home in the Europa League this year. They have home wins over Leverkusen (2-1), Bordeaux (1-0) and Newcastle (3-1).
Chelsea vs. Basel Match Odds & Betting Tips
- Chelsea: 1.44 / Basel: 7.00 / Draw: 4.33
In my opinion the only chance that Basel had to qualify for the Europa League finals is if they had won at home. The Swiss squad was excellent all year when playing at home, but after losing the 1st leg to Chelsea their chance to qualify is basically over.
Basel hasn’t won an away match in the Europa League this year. They did draw Tottenham at White Hart Lane 2-2 in the QF, but in order to have any chance to qualify into the finals they need to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge by a score of at least 2-1.
In the 1st leg Moses opened the scoring in the 12th minute to give Chelsea the lead. It looked like the score would remain 1-0, but Schar scored in the 87th minute on a penalty to draw the match at 1-1. Luiz then scored in stoppage time to give Chelsea the win.
The opening leg was close most of the match when you look at the tapes and statistics. I just don’t think that Basel will be able to overcome the last second defeat that they suffered at home in the 1st leg. I’m betting on Chelsea to win this match 2-0.
Benfica vs. Fenerbahce Match Odds & Betting Tips
- Benfica: 1.44 / Fenerbahce: 7.50 / Draw: 4.50
Fenerbahce won the opening leg between these two squads 1-0, but Benfica is lucky it wasn’t a worse score. Fenerbahce hit the post 3X in the match including on a penalty kick in the 1H before Korkmaz was finally able to put one into the back of the net.
This was the 1st loss for Benfica during the 2014 Europa League and it’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back. I mentioned above that Benfica has been one of the best home teams in the competition, but they need to keep a clean sheet in this match.
Oscar Cardozo was held quiet in the 1st leg and he needs to play better at home. Cardozo leads Benfica with 4 goals and he also has 1 assist during the competition. Benfica also has to keep tabs on Cristian who has 3 goals and 3 assists to lead Fenerbahce.
The fact that Benfica was held scoreless in the 1st leg hurts their chances. If Fenerbahce can score an away goal it would make it very difficult for Benfica to score enough to qualify, as they’d need to score at least 3 home goals if they give up an away goal.
My money is on the draw in this match at 4.50 odds. Fenerbahce played tight defence in the opening match and now that they have a 1-0 aggregate lead I expect them to come out slowly in this match and work the clock. At 4.50 the draw has nice value.