Europa League betting preview and tips: Arsenal v CSKA Moscow and other quarter final first legs

Celebrations for Arsenal

Nick Hext has 12/5 and 4/1 tips for the first legs of the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday night, including Arsenal v CSKA Moscow.

Europa League recommended bets

2pts Arsenal to beat CSKA Moscow and both teams to score at 12/5

1pt RB Salzburg to beat Lazio at 4/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record.


Arsenal v CSKA Moscow (2005 BST, BT Sport 2)

Arsenal's bid for Europa League glory and a place in next season's Champions League continues with home advantage against CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

This encounter provides a change of approach for the Gunners in the knockout stage as they are playing on their own turf first. That follows on from taking the lead from the away legs against both Ostersunds and AC Milan.

Arsenal claimed convincing wins on the road against both the Swedish and Italian opposition and it all points to another decent advantage for Arsene Wenger's side from this opening encounter.

The Gunners are out to claim a fifth win in a row and they should have more than enough to be ahead when this tie arrives in Russia.

Alexandre Lacazette's return is a big boost for Wenger as record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied.

Lacazette netted after being introduced from the bench in Sunday's 3-0 win at home to Stoke and he eases some of the goalscoring burden on Danny Welbeck in the Europa League.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates

CSKA Moscow have lost 11 of their last 17 European matches on the road and Arsenal provide a step up in quality after the Russian club dispatched Lyon in the round of 16.

Arsenal are 3/1 second-favourites in the Europa League for a reason and they have a pedigree in Europe that only market leaders Atletico Madrid can match in recent seasons.

I fully expect the Gunners to reach the semi-finals but I don't expect a clean sheet against the Russian visitors to the Emirates Stadium.

CSKA Moscow netted in both of their defeats against Manchester United in the group stage of this season's Champions League, they finished third in their section to drop into the Europa League.

Viktor Goncharenko's men also scored on the road at Basel and Benfica before exiting Europe's top club competition and 12/5 looks a strong price for Arsenal to win and both teams to score.

AC Milan netted when falling to defeat in Arsenal's last Europa League outing and the Gunners have only managed to keep two clean sheets in the last 10 matches on their own turf.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 CSKA Moscow (Sky Bet's odds: 11/1)

Best Bet: Arsenal to beat CSKA Moscow and both teams to score

Alternative: Arsenal to beat CSKA Moscow by two goals

Best of the rest…

The best bet from the other three quarter-final first legs is RB Salzburg to win on the road at Lazio at an inviting 4/1.

Salzburg knocked German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund out in the round of 16 after claiming an impressive 2-1 win at the Westfalenstadion in the first leg of the tie.

That victory continued Salzburg's unbeaten record on the road in this season's Europa League and the price for success at the Stadio Olimpico is big enough to take an interest.

There's also odds-against on offer for Salzburg to win or a draw in the double chance betting if you want a bit more security.

It all points to an Atletico Madrid win to nil against Sporting Lisbon.

Atletico have won without conceding a goal in all of their last eight home games but the bookies are well aware of that and a win to nil for the tournament favourites is odds-on across the board.

RB Leipzig host Marseille in the other game on Thursday night.

The hosts are odds-on for the win and I'd expect the German club to take a small advantage to France for the return match.

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Posted at 2130 BST 04/04/18

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