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Little to choose between Spaniards after kind Europa League draw

| 17.03.2012

Spain’s assault on the European competitions this season looks set to continue with Atletico Madrid and Valencia installed as 3/1 joint favourites to win the Europa League.

With the Champions League draw meaning Real Madrid and Barcelona will not face each other until a potential final, things are just as good for the Spanish sides in the Europa League with all four of the Spanish teams still in the competition avoiding each other in the quarter finals.

Atletico Madrid have got arguably the easiest quarter final draw and will face 16/1 outsiders Hannover in their last eight game.

Hannover may have overcome Standard Liege 6-2 on aggregate in the last round but Atletico are in a different class and it would take a brave punter to back against an easy progression for the Spanish side.

Elsewhere, Manchester United’s conquerors Athletico Bilbao have been priced at 10/3 to win the competition and will face Schalke in their quarter final.

The German side are out at 5/1 to win the competition but it’s hard to see beyond a win for Bilbao considering the way thoroughly outclassed Man Utd over two-legs in the last round.

Joint favourites Valencia also have a favourable draw and should have no problems progressing against 16/1 outsiders AZ.

The Premier League’s dominace of European competitions is certainly over for this season and, if the odds are correct, then it could be a memorable season for Spanish club football.

Full Europa League quarter final draw

AZ v Valencia
Schalke v Athletico Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon v Metalist
Atletico Madrid v Hannover



Richard Anderson