Anfield

Next Game

Liverpool v Chelsea

Sunday, 27 April 2014, 14:05

Barclays Prem

Vicente Calderon

Last Game

A Madrid 0 - 0 Chelsea

Tuesday, 22 April 2014, 19:45

Champions League Semi-Final

Steaua to give Rafa the blues

David John is tipping Steaua Buchrest to gain the early initiative against Chelsea in the Europa League tonight.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 17:50 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Europa League. Click here to bet.

Rafa Benitez: Could be behind after the first leg in Romania

Rafa Benitez: Could be behind after the first leg in Romania

David John is tipping Steaua Buchrest to gain the early initiative against Chelsea in the Europa League on Thursday.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Newcastle all continue their Europa League odyssey on Thursday night and the former might struggle to have things their own way in Romania.

Steaua Bucharest are well worth a small investment at 10/3 with Stan James to take an advantage back to Stamford Bridge in the second leg.

Rafa Benitez's side did us a favour last week in the FA Cup at Middlesbrough but with the pressure ever-building in the Premier League on the chase for no worse than fourth, that is surely where priorities in west London now lie.

I get the impression that Benitez could try and rest a few of his squad, attempt to stifle Steaua with a defensive formation and then hope to sweep them aside back at home next week.

And while it will be a stern test for the hosts taking on the reigning European champions, they certainly seem ready for the challenge having disposed of Ajax on penalties in the last round.

"Bring on Chelsea," was the cry of Iasmin Latovlevici and while they may well find the visitors too good over two two legs, the opportunity to at least make the reverse fixture interesting looks there for the taking.

This is the first time they have progressed this far since 2005/2006 while they have emerged from the winter break in Romania with two wins to stretch their advantage at home at the top of the table to 12 points.

The overriding feeling with Chelsea remains one of disharmony as they scramble for that top-four berth and Steaua will not have a better chance to spring a surprise - they merit support at the odds.

Newcastle were unfortunate not to get something out of their game with Swansea at the weekend but face a very tough trip to Moscow to face Anzhi Makhachkala where tempertaures will dip well below freezing.

That is not a particularly big obstacle for the Geordies but the hosts will be.

Anzhi look solid odds-on chances having won all seven 'home' games in the competition and conceded just once - those matches have been spread around three venues with Thursday's clash at the Luzhniki Stadium.

They have spent 30 million Euros over the winter to strengthen a squad that already has plenty of quality under coach Guus Hiddink and with three Russian teams in the competition at this stage, it shows the progress the country is making outside of the domestic arena.

Toon will do well to get anything from their 8/11 hosts while Spurs are also odds-on to beat Inter at White Hart Lane.

Gareth Bale should be rubbing his hands together as he comes up against a side that has not kept a clean sheet domestically in nine games as his manager Andre Villas-Boas labelled him the "difference" during their current run of form great form.

The Welsh wizard is 9/2 to net first and 5/4 at anytime and it is highly probable that punters will look no further than that for a wager on the game - but we will stick with Steaua on this occasion to come up with the goods.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Bet with SkyBet  Europa League. Click here to bet.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy don't you call in Becks as well...and we will all have a lovely tea party!

kimosabi
United: Scholes helping out

M

ourinho is just a good-looking version of Allardyce (Fit Sam?). Clearly 19th century football isn't such a big deal after all?

Ezy_Rider
Chelsea Killed The Game Instead Of Playing It

S

tay put, Pep. Timothy Sherwood has this under control.

slowgraffiti
Guardiola plans Bayern stay

Footer 365

Europa League: Lima's late winner gives Benfica 2-1 victory in semi-final first-leg

Substitute Lima struck late to help Benfica to a 2-1 victory over Juventus in their Europa League semi-final first-leg.

Nicky Butt proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary boss Ryan Giggs

Nicky Butt says he is immensely proud to be assisting Manchester United's temporary manager Ryan Giggs.

Europa League: Sevilla secure first leg lead in all-Spanish clash with Valencia

Sevilla toppled La Liga rivals Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final to claim a 2-0 advantage.

Mail Box

Guardiola Is No Better Than Moyes...

At least he wasn't in Bayern's defeat to Real Madrid, says one chap in the mailbox. Plus, more excitement over Van Gaal at Man United and thoughts on FFP...

Man United Fans Excited By Van Gaal Talk

Man United fans know who they want to replace David Moyes, with Louis van Gaal the favourite to take over at Old Trafford. Plus, thoughts on Real Madrid v Bayern Munich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property