IT’S been 47 years since West Ham last graced a European final and they’re just 180 minutes from another with AZ Alkmaar standing in their way.
The Hammers have had a real up and down season but Davie Moyes feels like they’re hitting some form at just the right time of the season and that could take them all the way to the final in Prague next month.
Moyes’ side have hardly skipped a beat in this season’s Europa Conference League. Six wins in the group stage set the tone, followed by a 6-0 aggregate win over AEK Larnaca and a convincing 5-2 success over Gent.
AZ have been almost as impressive, the only blot on their copybook being a 1-0 loss in Cyrpus to Appollon Limassol. They impressed with wins in both legs against Lazio before squeezing past Anderlecht on penalties in the quarter-finals.
The Dutch club have already tasted Euro success this season in the shape of their youth team winning the Euro Youth League with an impressive string of results over the likes of Real Madrid (4-0), Barcelona (3-0) and Eintracht Frankfurt (5-0) before thumping Hadjuk Split 5-0 in the final. This is a club who invest a lot of effort into youth development and a European trophy would be the ultimate vindication of that strategy.
But the bookies make the Premier League side clear favourites to take a first leg advantage. West Ham are 11/20 to win tonight compared to the 21/4 on AZ who will be hoping to keep themselves in the tie ahead of the return at the AFAS Stadium next week.
It’s a game that could see goals. West Ham have scored four in each of their last two European matches at the London Stadium and AZ have found in the net in three of five away from home in the competition. Over 2.5 Goals appeals at 19/20.
A fascinating foursome make up the semi-finals in the Europa League.
Sevilla can’t be written off in this competition, just ask Manchester United, but they’re outsiders of the four at 7/2 to lift the trophy once more. Juventus are their opponents but you’d be loathe to back them at home at just 3/4. They drew with Nantes and won by a single goal against Freiburg and Sporting in previous rounds in Turin.
Roma represent Serie A in the other semi-final and welcome Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen to the capital this evening. Jose Mourinho can work his magic in Europe again tonight at a handy looking 11/10.
Neither side have enjoyed particularly good domestic seasons and Leverkusen are arguably in better form overall but Roma have saved some of their best performances for Europe in the Stadio Olimpico
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After a 20/1 winner of the DP World Tour last week The Caddy stays in Europe with a trip to Belgium for this week’s Soudal Open at Rinkven International Golf Club, Antwerp.
For Day 2 of the May Chester Festival Rizzel has pulled out three selections, including a 2pt NAP in the opener.
As always, let us know your best betting tips and predictions for today in the comments section below and good luck with all your bets!