Europa League accumulator: Six home wins as holders to go out

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The Europa League may be a worthy competition in its own right, but there is no doubting that domestic league results are the priority of Napoli and Atletico Madrid at present.

For Napoli, they are in a two-horse race for the Serie A title with Juventus, which would be a first in over 20 years, while Atletico have the chance of finishing above their neighbours Real Madrid for the first time since 1995 and confirming their spot in next season’s Champions League.

The fact that both were also on the receiving end of damaging first leg results in the last 16 of the Europa League is the final reason why they are among the losers tipped in our 80/1 accumulator ahead of the second legs in the competition.

Napoli have taken an almost-full squad to the Czech Republic for their return date with Viktoria Plzen, but it would be a surprise if Walter Mazzarri picked his strongest line up with his team 3-0 down from their home leg.

Plzen have also won their last four at home without conceding, including victories over Hapoel Tel Aviv and Atletico Madrid in the Europa League group stages.

Atletico are another side who are likely to rest players, with at least eight first-teamers left at home from their trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan.

The reigning champions were beaten 2-0 at home in the first leg and although Rubin are without a goal in five games on their own patch, they look slightly overpriced to do the double over Atletico.

Elsewhere, Chelsea should be too strong against Sparta Prague, while Lazio have lost only once at home since September and entertain a Borussia Monchengladbach side that host Borussia Dortmund next in the Bundesliga.

Stuttgart have been in dreadful form in 2012 on the whole and could struggle at Genk, with the final pick being Olympiacos, who had won 12 on the bounce at home before losing to Atromitos last time out, beating Levante.

Europa League selections
Chelsea to beat Sparta Prague @ 1/3
Olympiacos to beat Levante @ 3/4
Lazio to Borussia Monchengladbach @ 20/21
Viktoria Plzen to beat Napoli @ 13/10
Rubin Kazan to beat Atletico Madrid @ 7/4
Genk to beat Stuttgart @ 9/5

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.