Europa League fixtures are not always the easiest to predict in the early stages of the competition, with certain teams using it as a chance to rest their star men.
However, as the last-16 phase commences, all eyes are on a trip to Bucharest for the final in May and the big guns will surely be leaving nothing to chance in their first leg outings.
As ever, we are bringing you a goalscorer treble for tonight’s matches and we’ve gone for three in-form players – Ashley Young, Luuk de Jong and Antonio Di Natale – to all hit the back of the net.
The combined odds on these three to score are 353/25, meaning anyone using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on the treble could win £378 if successful.
Man Utd’s Ashley Young to score against Athletic @ 2/1
Since his return from injury last month, Young has had a huge impact on United’s midfield. He picked up a couple of goals against Spurs at the weekend as well as setting up countryman Wayne Rooney in their 3-1 win.
The £16 million man also scored for England in their loss to Holland at Wembley last week and helped set up this Europa meeting with Bilbao by scoring in Amsterdam as United knocked out Ajax in the previous round.
With Bilbao conceding in their last five away matches, Young should expect to bag himself a goal at Old Trafford.
Twente’s Luuk de Jong to score against Schalke @ 7/5
With 13 goals in 11 games, FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong will be looking for another appearance on the scoresheet against Schalke.
His 24 goals this season have made a case for him to play a part in Holland’s Euro 2012 bid and he found himself appearing for his national side in the second half at Wembley last Wednesday.
He scored the only goal in Twente’s last home game and with big European clubs sure to be checking the Europa League for potential summer signings, De Jong will be looking to put at least one past a Schalke defence which has shipped five goals in its last two away games in the Bundesliga.
Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale to score against AZ @ 11/10
Antonio Di Natale has bagged 21 goals this season in Udinese’s push for a Champions League place and his recent goalscoring form has been even more impressive, with eight in his last nine games.
The odds above suggest that he’ll find his ninth goal in ten games in the Europa League against AZ Alkmaar. And the Serie A joint-top scorer will hope to steer the only Italian side remaining in the tournament through this tie and into the quarter-finals.
The 34-year-old told the media earlier this week that one of his targets for this season is to reach the Bucharest final. His goalscoring form makes that ambition a possibility.
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