Europa League: Our fab five anytime goalscorer tips for Thursday’s ties

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AZ Alkmaar vs Manchester United: Calvin Stengs to score anytime – 7/2

Few would back United to pick up three points against an Alkmaar side who have won their last three Eredivisie games without conceding.

Few would even back any of the United players to find the back of the net on Thursday.

Marcus Rashford was clearly not fit against Arsenal on Monday night and has scored two goals from open play since March; Anthony Martial is injured; Dan James seems to have levelled off after a lightening quick start; Mason Greenwood has just turned 18 and can’t be relied upon to find the back of the net consistently; and Jesse Lingard is Jesse Lingard. So, there’s that.

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Attention must then turn to AZ Alkmaar as statistics suggest that they will find the back of the net on Thursday.

United are without a clean sheet on the road since a 2-0 FA Cup win over Chelsea in February and AZ will fancy their chances of prolonging that record.

Dutch winger Calvin Stengs has three in his last four games and is one of many players with a reasonable shout of scoring on Thursday.

Unai Emery

Arsenal vs Standard Liege: Bukayo Saka to score anytime – 21/10

Arsenal will field a weakened team judging by their exploits in the League Cup and their first Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have both been afforded chances by Unai Emery and both have repaid that faith in spades by finding the net not once, not twice, but thrice between them in two games.

At least one of Saka and Martinelli will earn a starting berth on Thursday and the smart money would be on Saka, who has form in the Europa League and who started at Old Trafford on Monday.

He would have put Arsenal ahead on Monday too had Victor Lindelof not unwittingly deflected his goalbound shot over the crossbar.

The Gunners should run Standard Liege ragged on Thursday and Saka will get chances to add to his Europa League tally.

Besiktas vs Wolves: Raul Jimenez to score anytime – 13/10

Wolves finally got their first win of the season against Watford at the weekend and now need to back that up with a crucial win against Besiktas, unless they want to exit the Europa League at the group stages.

Luckily for them, they are not coming up against the formidable Besiktas of yore, but a side that has leaked 12 goals in its last four games and currently sits 16th in the Turkish Super Lig.

Wolves will fancy their chances of atoning for their opening day loss to Braga in Turkey and Raul Jimenez, with six goals in Europa League qualifying, is the best bet to score.

Pickings are quite slim with Wolves goalscorers at the moment, truth be told, and Jimenez is currently their top scorer in the Premier League with two.

Celtic vs Cluj: Odsonne Edouard to score anytime – 6/5

Just over a month after suffering a shock home defeat at the hands of Romanian outfit Cluj in a Champions League qualifier, Celtic have the chance to exact some revenge in the Europa League.

Celtic have started the season well and already seem on course to retain the Scottish title for a record-equally ninth consecutive time. However, The Bhoys seem to be heavily reliant on the goalscoring efforts of Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie – who have scored 19 goals between them in all competitions.

Smart money would be on one of them hitting the back of the net on Thursday and it is Edouard, who scored in the 4-3 defeat against Cluj at Celtic Park in August, who seems like the better bet to us.

Young Boys vs Rangers: Alfredo Morelos to score anytime – 17/10

Rangers have had no trouble finding the back of the net this season, only failing to do so on two occasions since the start of the SPFL.

Steven Gerrard’s men average three goals a game in the league and they will expect to do so against Young Boys on Thursday.

Like Celtic, however, Rangers have relied hugely on the exploits of two players; Jermaine Defoe and Alfredo Morelos. The pair have bagged 22 goals between them in all competitions with Morelos, finding the net 13 times already.

The Colombian has scored a staggering eight times in seven Europa League games and is the standout player to do so again – if he can keep his temper and stay on the pitch that is.

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* All odds correct at time of posting.

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