Manchester United v Partizan Belgrade: Man Utd to win to nil – 10/11
United came crashing down to earth on Saturday in a limp defeat at Bournemouth that ended their three-game winning run in all competitions.
The Red Devils now sit a staggering ten points outside the top four after just 11 league games and it already looks as though their only hope of Champions League qualification is to win the Europa League.
Victory at home to Partizan on Thursday will at least seal their passage to the knockout stages and, having successfully navigated the trickier away fixture in Belgrade, they should fancy their chances of doing so.
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United have bordered on unwatchable in Europe this season, with chances few and far between in their last two outings against AZ Alkmaar and Partizan. Their defence has been rigidly structured in each of United’s three European games, which has restricted opponent’s chances at the expense of free-flowing and creative football.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has largely trusted his young players so far in the competition and they are yet to really look like a cohesive unit. In truth, they are yet to look like a cohesive unit in any competition.
Having said that, they should keep Partizan scoreless and have enough to get over the line.
Wolves v Slovan Bratislava: Wolves (-1) – 11/10
Wolves have done well to recover from what appeared to be a damaging defeat at home to Braga in the opening round of group fixtures. The English side will now look to fully make amends in their first European home game since that defeat.
They have excelled on the road with victories over Besiktas and Thursday night’s opponents Slovan Bratislava. Should they repeat the feat on Thursday, they will almost guarantee themselves a place in the last 32.
Their performance in the Slovakian capital two weeks ago would suggest that they are capable of doing so.
Wolves uncharacteristically dominated the ball and created a plethora of opportunities two weeks ago and will look to do something similar on Thursday.
A win will put Wolves five points clear of the Slovakians with two games to left to play. They should do it in relative comfort.
Lazio v Celtic: Lazio to win – 4/7
Celtic’s last gasp win over Lazio at Celtic Park two weeks ago has left them within touching distance of the knockout stages.
A win in Rome on Thursday will guarantee Celtic’s passage to the last 32, but it will be very difficult.
The Italians haven’t lost at home this season and boast an intimidating home record of four wins and two draws from six games in all competitions, scoring 16 goals in the process.
They can consider themselves unlucky not to come away with anything from Celtic Park as well, squandering excellent chances while winning 1-0 and drawing 1-1.
Celtic are also notorious for relying on home form in European competition and it would be a gigantic result if they manage so much as a draw on Thursday. However, it should be a home win.
Rangers v Porto: Rangers to win – 13/8
Porto have suffered a fall from grace since exiting the Champions League as quarter-finalists last April.
First, they failed to retain the Portuguese title they won in 2018, meaning that they had to qualify for the Champions League via the playoffs. Next, they were dumped out of the playoffs following a shock home defeat to Krasnodar, causing them to miss out on a place in the group stages for the first time since 2010.
Now, their hopes of even qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League hang in the balance following a lukewarm opening three games. Defeat to Rangers on Thursday will leave them in a perilous position in Group G with two games remaining and it is not a far-fetched concept.
Rangers gave as good as they got in Porto two weeks ago and the combination of Alfredo Morelos and Borna Barisic caused the Portuguese side plenty of problems.
With a partisan crowd behind them at Ibrox, Rangers can take a giant leap towards the knockout stages.Shoot over to PaddyPower.com now for all the latest football odds
* All odds correct at time of posting.