Five British teams find themselves in action on Thursday in the Europa League. Of the lot, only Arsenal are a home favourite and three of them face tricky away trips, while Celtic probably have the toughest match of the night when they welcome Serie A’s Lazio.
Let’s have a preview of the action with our five-fold acca.
Porto vs Rangers @ 17.55
It’s all level in Group G, each team has won one and lost one game so far. Last time out Porto surprisingly lost away to Feyenoord, but did beat Young Boys in their first match. Rangers lost away to Young Boys in their last fixture, but were surprise winners against Feyenoord prior to that.
Both teams need a good result, so they’ll be going for it, but Porto have the stronger side and on paper this should be an easy enough test for Sergio Conceicao’s Porto.
They’ve picked up where they left off last season and haven’t lost at home so far this campaign, scoring 12 goals and conceding just one, in their last five matches in all competitions.
Selection: Porto to win @ 4/9.
Partizan vs Man United @ 17.55
Man United actually played like a team against Liverpool on Sunday – even if a draw was a fair result in the end. Their away form isn’t good in the Premier League, but they’ve not lost any of their seven away Europa League ties since the beginning of 2017.
Partizan’s home form is incredibly good, (only lost two of their last 15 matches at Stadion Partizana) and have won three and drawn one of their Europa League matches at home in this campaign.
It’s important for both not to lose here as AZ Alkmaar will leap-frog them if they beat Astana at home. Both need to score so we’re going with that outcome and leaving the result to decide itself.
Verdict: Both team to score ‘Yes’ @ 4/5.
Slovan Bratislava vs Wolves @ 17.55
Slovan Bratislava top the Slovakian Superliga with 29 points from 12 matches and could be a potential banana skin for Wolves. Another formidable team at home, they’ve on a run of 22 home matches without a loss and of their last five at home, they’ve scored an impressive 14 and conceded just four.
But after a shaky start Wolves have hit form, having lost just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, and have already played eight matches in the Europa League, winning seven of them – including their four on the road.
The Slovaks should put up a good fight the gulf in class between the Superliga and the Premier League should be too much for the home side.
Verdict: Wolves to win @ 4/6.
Arsenal vs Vitoria Guimaraes @ 20.00
Unai Emery’s team will need to respond to Monday night’s defeat by Sheffield United and the manager is under serious pressure now.
Luckily for them, Guimaraes are struggling and have only won one of their last seven fixtures in all competitions and as Pepe, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were wasteful in front of goal, all three will be eager to get on the score-sheet here.
Five of Arsenal’s eight home Europa League matches have seen Over 2.5 goals in the past two seasons and that looks the smart play on Thursday night.
Verdict: Over 2.5 Goals @ 9/20
Celtic vs Lazio @ 20.00
Celtic top the group with four points from their two matches, having beaten Cluj in their last match and drawing away with Renne in the opening Group E match. Lazio were surprise losers away to Cluj on their opening day, but beat Renne 2-1 last time out.
The pressure is more on Lazio than Celtic, so they’re going to have to come out swinging. Celtic have only failed to score at home on a European night once in their last 14 European matches. Lazio have a dangerous striker in Ciro Immobile with nine goals in his eight La Liga matches and one so far in the Europa League.
We’re hoping for another belter of a match at Celtic Park and again both teams to score looks the play.
Verdict: Both teams to score ‘Yes’ is 6/10.
Prices correct at time of publication and this 5-fold acca come in at approx 9/1.