Celta looking to topple Genk

Published on April 9th, 2017 6:04 pm EST
Written By: Cian Murray
The UEFA Europa League trophy - At the tournament fina.  Football field in the background. Celta Vigo take on Belgian side Genk in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday. Call us crazy, but we don't think either of these sides will win the tournament.

Celta Vigo are currently sitting all the way back in tenth in La Liga, while Genk haven't even made it into the play-offs in the Belgian top tier.

The bookmakers have a slightly different view, pricing Celta as third favorites to win the Europa League outright. Clearly they haven't been paying enough attention to the Spanish side's recent form.

In their last game, they lost to minnows Eibar and the tie before that saw them lose to a Valencia team that are languishing in the lower half of their league.

Thus Genk, who are far from the complete package themselves, will look at this game as the ideal quarter-final draw. They go into it with nothing to lose, knowing that a win is not expected from many people outside of their camp.

They are heavy underdogs in the opening-leg at a price of 19/4. Although their domestic form has been very poor this season, they have found some success while on the road in Europe.

Genk defeated Italian side Sassuolo, Belgian counterparts Gent and drew with Romanian side Astra Giurgiu while on their travels in the Europa League.

That being said, none of those sides are on Celta's slightly-better-than-average level, so the La Liga side's 4/7 favoritism for the opening leg is probably justified.

However, if you are feeling lucky and want to back to draw, it is available at a price of 3/1.

Understandably, the bookies don't have much respect for the Belgian side, pricing them at 33/1 to win the entire tournament.

When looking through their squad, this pricing looks a little bit miserly - they have very few stand-out names and we reckon this game could be the end of the road for them in the Europa League.

Their main goal scoring threat in this tournament, Leon Bailey, joined Bayer Leverkusen in January and his departure has left a huge whole in their squad.

They got €20 million for the winger, who has scored four goals for them in the Europa League this season. However, they have failed to replace Bailey with anything near the quality he produced.

That's not to say that Celta are world-beaters, but they do have some good footballers who know how to win big games. For instance, former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas already has four goals in the tournament and is averaging a strike every 126 minutes of game time.

The Spanish international is priced at a generous 7/2 to open the scoring. We're going to stick a few quid on that and couple it up with Celta to win to nil, which is priced at around 6/4.

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