It’s been a busy week of action across Europe this week with the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now today, we have the second leg ties in the quarterfinals of both the Europa League and the competition we are focusing on here, the Europa Conference League.

There was a mix of matches in the first leg ties, with a couple of teams having big wins, which will almost certainly see them through while the other ties, including Premier League side West Ham’s contest with Gent, are far more evenly poised.

As always, bet365 Sport is the perfect place to head for a bet on any of the Europa Conference League games taking place this week, not to mention the Europa League games. Happening on the same night too.

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All the odds shown in this article come from bet365 Sport and were correct at the time of writing, but they may have changed in the meantime in the run up to the games.

Before we take a look at our preview and tips for the games coming up on Thursday night in the Europa Conference League, let’s first quickly preview how the four quarter final first leg ties panned out last week.

Europa Conference League Quarter Finals 1st Leg – Round Up

Thursday 13th April

  • Gent 1-1 West Ham (Cuypers 56), (Ings 45+3)

After a cagey opening in Belgium, it was the English side that went in front, but not before they had a goal disallowed due to a VAR decision after the Gent Keeper Roef had failed to catch a cross and bundled the ball against a West Ham player before it bounced into the net.

Gent were let off when the referee viewed the monitor and awarded a free kick to Gent for a handball by the West Ham player, although it did seem a somewhat harsh decision given the goalkeeper dropped the ball against him.

However, four minutes after that Coufal took a quick throw in for Lanzini to control and slide across goal as the Gent defence slept. Danny Ings was at the back post to tuck the ball away.

The second half was all Gent’s as they pushed West Ham back and equalised on 56 minutes through Cuypers who cut inside past two West Ham defenders to fire hard past Areola.

The home side almost went in front when Orban’s acrobatic overhead kick beat Areola but clipped the top of the bar. The second leg looks likely to be equally as intriguing as the first on Thursday.

  • FC Basel 2-2 Nice (Amdouni 26(p), 71), (Moffi 38,45+1)

Two goals from Zeki Amdouni from the home side cancelled out two from Terem Moffi for the visitors as FC Basel and Nice fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw at St-Jakob Park.

In a very even and entertaining contest, Amdouni put the home side ahead from the penalty spot before Moffi scored twice in the space of eight minutes just before half-time, the second a superb overhead kick, to put the French side in front at the interval.

FC Basel continued to probe and drew level when Amdouni, who is on loan from Lausanne Sport, headed home a second on 71 minutes to draw Basel level in the tie.

Nice had more of the possession but fewer shots on goal and they will seek to remedy that in the second leg this week.

  • Lech Poznan 1-4 Fiorentina (Velde 20), (Cabral 4, Gonzalez 41, Bonaventure 58, Ikone 83)

Fiorentina made light work of their away leg securing a superb 4-1 win over Lech Poznan in Poland. They scored after just four minutes, Gonzalez superb run and curling shot coming back off the post before Cabral forced the rebound home off the goalkeeper.

Poznan crafted a lovely equaliser on the 20-minute mark when Ishak headed a deep cross back to Velde who struck a sweet shot first time from the edge of the box past Terracciano.

Cruciall though Poznan could not hold on until the half as on 41 minutes, Fiorentina regained the lead, the excellent Gonzalez rising at the back post to head home a deep cross past the keeper.

A mazy run by Brekalo was the prelude to Fiorentina;s third goal as he fed Ikone whose shot deflected back into the path of Bonaventure to fire home from 18 yards. Ikone then added a fourth late on when Ikone ran unchallenged from the halfway line to slot a low shot past the keeper from 18 yards.

  • Anderlecht 2-0 AZ Alkmaar (Murillo 22, Ashimeru 70)

AZ went into this game as the slight favourites to progress to the semi-finals but a fine performance from the home side, who were clinical in front of goal, was enough to ensure that it was Anderlecht who took a two-goal lead into the second leg.

Murillo put the home side in front on 22 minutes with the Panamanian international right back flicking a header past the keeper from Dreher’s cross to open the scoring.

The lead was doubled when Amuzu ran clear down the left and cut the ball back for Ashimeru to fire home superbly from the edge of the area.

AZ had a late chance but Kerkez shot from a narrow angle could only find the side netting setting up a very tricky second leg in the Netherlands this week.

Europa Conference League Quarter Finals 2nd Leg

Thursday 20th April

  • AZ Alkmaar (0) v (2) Anderlecht (5.45pm)

Anderlecht take a two-goal lead with them into the second leg in the Netherlands this week after emerging from a tight and competitive first leg with AZ Alkmaar with a 2-0 lead.

A goal in each half was enough for the famous Belgian side to take command of the tie, despite a game that AZ more than matched them in for long parts of each half.

Anderlecht have improved markedly since Brian Riemer came in as coach in December and they beat Villarreal in the last round before goals from Murillo and Ashimeru handed them a potentially decisive advantage here.

AZ began the tie as the favourites, but they are now very much the underdogs to reach the semi-finals, but the Dutch side won’t mind that and will be hoping an early goal will help them settle into the game and make Anderlecht much more uncomfortable on that lead.

In terms of quality both these teams are closely matched but home advantage gives AZ Alkmaar the slight advantage, but whether it is enough for them to go through I am not so sure.

Prediction – AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Anderlecht – 15/2

  • Fiorentina (4) v (1) Lech Poznan (5.45pm)

Fiorentina scored four times in the away leg as Lech Poznan’s defence melted away in the second half, with the Poles trying to get back into the game, the Italians countered clinically to make this second leg all but a formality.

It is difficult having witnessed the first leg to make any case for Poznan to get something here, perhaps other than scoring a goal, and I am not even sure that they are likely to do that.

Fiorentina can’t relax though but I think that they are experienced enough not to do so and as such, I am backing them for another comfortable win here.

Prediction – Fiorentina 3-0 Lech Poznan – 7/1

  • Nice (2) v (2) FC Basel (8pm)

FC Basel will probably feel aggrieved that they are not taking a lead into this second leg in France this week, as Nice probably got a bit more than they deserved with their 2-2 draw in Switzerland last week.

On home soil, you would expect Nice, who have a side packed with experience of top level European games, should be too strong for their opponents.

As such, I think that Nice will likely grab a goal in each half to claim the win and with it the place in the semifinals of the competition.

Prediction – Nice 2-0 FC Basel – 13/2

  • West Ham (1) v (1) Gent (8pm)

After a closely fought game in Belgium, that saw West Ham somewhat fortunate to escape with a draw, the two teams meet up again in London this week where being at home should be a big advantage for the Premier League side.

There’s no doubt that their second half performance last week wasn’t good enough and David Moyes, already under severe pressure at the club, badly needs his team to put in a much sharper display here.

Gent showed last week that they can cut the Hammers apart if they are given time on the ball, but similarly, West Ham also created chances, which suggests that this could well be a game that sees plenty of goalmouth action.

Backed by their vociferous home support, I am going to go for West Ham to deliver the goods here.

Prediction – West Ham United 2-1 Gent – 15/2

The semifinals first leg of all three European competitions take place on the week of the 9th, 10th and 11th May, with the second leg of the semi-finals a week later on the 16th, 17th and 18th May.