Austrian kingpins Red Bull Salzburg are enjoying a season of domestic dominance and, according to the betting, they could be about to supplement their imperiousness at home by hoisting the Europa League too.
Overexposure to a mainstream, sugar-stacked energy drink that allegedly mutates the human form into a half-man/half-bird hybrid upon consumption is one potential theory behind their sudden surge to prominence, with the side rocketing out of left-field into 7/1 third-favourites to lift the trophy.
New customers to open a fresh account at bwin.com will be awarded a £30 free bet to get the punting party started and those who believe die Roten Bullen will succeed in their quest for continental glory will be rewarded with a monster £210 profit should they prevail.
Currently outstripping the likes of Napoli, Porto and Tottenham in the outright stakes to win the competition, here’s why Roger Schmidt’s side can pull off an outrageous coup.
Pacesetters of the lesser-lauded Bundesliga, Salzburg have won 15 of the 16 matches that followed their last defeat.
This swashbuckling streak has seen Red Bull take a 27-point lead at the top of the Austrian top-tier and they’re not afraid to break out the steamroller on the continent either.
Ajax were vanquished in emphatic fashion at the last-32 stage of the competition, gunned down 6-1 over two legs.
Red Bull’s deadly strike duo of Jonathan Soriano and Alan have plundered a combined 46 goals in 40 domestic starts this term.
Formerly on the books of Barcelona, Soriano haunts the dreams of defenders across Austria and beyond having struck 25 times in 19 league starts, adding a further ten in eight Europa League appearances.
His partner in crime may sound like some bloke they recruited from a building site, but he’s much more than that – Al is averaging one goal per start at home and augments this tally with a further four abroad.
The goalless draw with Basel in the first-leg was the first Europa League outing this season that Salzburg were unable to win.
Having taken to the field 11 times in this competition, this is a very formidable statistic and it’s made all the more impressive by the fact that six of these victories came with an accompanying clean sheet.