Backing Europa League favs is easy money

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At this stage of the Europa League the number of teams looking like cannon fodder is laughable.

While this may be to the derision of the competition it works in the punters’ favour and could have you laughing too – all the way to the clichéd bank.

The trick is not to get too greedy though and with that in mind Ladbrokes News’ James Curtis has picked out four bankers paying out at just over 3/1 when placed as an acca.

Shakthter Karagandy to beat Atlantas @ 1/4

The 0-0 first leg may have proven a damp squib but Atlantas can expect a tidal wave of attacks as they travel to Kazakhstan.

The hosts are unbeaten in 13 games at home, winning their last eight fixtures while conceding just two goals.

The Lithuanians meanwhile boast a shocking away record in the competition, losing all five of their games to date, conceding 18 goals while scoring just one.

AIK to beat Linfield @ 2/9

Linfield may have taken the first leg 1-0 but it will be a different story against the Swedes who have won five straight fixtures at the Friends Arena.

The Solna residents scored at least two goals in each of those victories and should turn things around against a Linfield side that has failed to win four of their seven away games in European competition.

Groningen to beat Aberdeen @ 3/5

After grinding out a 0-0 result in Scotland the club that gave Luis Suarez his European break and Arjen Robben his start will be confident of a win here.

The Dutch side have won six home games on the bounce and take on a Dons side that has lost four of it last five European road trips.

Hajduk Split v Dundalk @ 4/11

Split have lost just one of their last six home games in all competitions and while they have struggled in recent European adventures it was against the likes of Inter Milan, Stoke City, AEK and Zenit.

Dundalk will pose no such threat despite winning in Europe last time out. The 5-0 and 6-0 losses that preceded that result are a better reflection of their abilities and coming against lesser opposition it is the hosts that are to be backed here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.