Anderlecht v Zenit Betting Tips: Goals in store for Purple & Whites on home soil
Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs takes a look at Thursday’s Europa League encounter between Beglian side Anderlecht and Russian outfit Zenit.
Although this tie sees two teams who might not be among the most fashionable names in European football face each other, this is still a match-up between two previous champions of this competition (albeit before the re-branding) as 1983 winners Anderlecht play host to 2008 winners Zenit at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.
Since they made it through the group stages in convincing style, you could argue that Russian side Zenit should be warm favourites for this encounter and, under normal circumstances, this might be the case. However, with the Russian season currently on hold thanks to a lengthy winter-break, the visitors probably won’t be operating at full capacity and could easily struggle to find their best game.
Anderlecht are a side who’ve been performing well in Belgium and come into this match unbeaten in nine matches. The Belgian outfit also acquitted themselves well in the group stages of this competition, especially from a forward perspective. The fact that René Weiler’s side scored 16 goals in six group matches is pretty impressive.
From a betting point of view, backing the hosts to win this fixture at 17/10 wouldn’t be the worst bet in the world, but the selection that appeals most is ‘Anderlecht to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ at odds of 13/8.
As touched on above, the hosts looked menacing when going forward during the group stages, particularly on their own patch. Having scored 11 of their 16 goals in front of a home crowd, Weiler’s men scored at least twice in each of their home matches. On top of this, Anderlecht have scored two or more in seven of their last ten on home soil.
The fact that Zenit aren’t currently playing competitive football (and haven’t been since early December) certainly bodes well for the hosts, while the Russians weren’t exactly the fiercest defensive unit anyway. They might have offered a significant attacking threat during the group stages, but this didn’t stop Mircea Lucescu’s men conceding eight goals, picking the ball out of their own net at least twice in two of their three away matches.
The Belgian side not only have the home advantage here, but come into this match having had the benefit of regular competitive football over the last month. In addition, René Weiler’s are in good form overall and should enter into this contest in high spirits having notched four times in their weekend win.
All things considered, Anderlecht probably deserve to be a good bit shorter in the betting here and are fancied to do well.
You can read more Europa League tips here.
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