With five wins on the bounce in the Premier League, Chelsea go into Thursday night’s Europa League tie as the form horses in the domestic league but face a different test away to Paok.
Runners-up in the Super League, the Greek side came very close to navigating the Champions League qualifiers before they were eliminated by Benfica. While a full-strength Chelsea side should be too good for Paok, Blues’ coach Maurizio Sarri has made changes to the side that beat Cardiff 4-1 at the weekend.
Hat-trick hero Eden Hazard is rested while Olivier Giroud makes way for Alvaro Morata up top, where the fear remains that the Spaniard may have left his shooting boots at Madrid.
Chelsea have plenty of other players who can get among the goals but rather than go ‘all in’ on an away win at 8/11, we’ll give the home side the benefit of the doubt to score at least once also.
They’ve won three on the bounce domestically and with home advantage will relish the chance to put one over London’s glamour club in the 5.55pm kick-off.
We’ll confess to knowing as much about Vorskla and the Ukrainian league as Boris Johnson does about diplomacy and see nothing other than a home win here.
The Gunners have started to hit their stride in the Premier League and the 2-1 victory away to Newcastle at the weekend was their third on the bounce.
New boss Unai Emery ‘owns’ the Europa League having guided Sevilla to three consecutive wins in the competition and he didn’t do that without knowing a little about ‘game management’.
Granted, he’s been hired to fry bigger fish, but he’ll still be under pressure to bring a trophy to the Emirates in his first season in charge. Especially one that guarantees Champions League football if a top-four league spot proves elusive.
We’re expecting an Arsenal win. Combine that with under 3.5 goals and you’ve a very reasonable 10/11 to get stuck into.
These pair are as familiar to each other as Katie Hopkins is to the insolvency courts and they square up for the fifth time in little over a year in European competition.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have won twice and drawn twice with their Norwegian opponents who took the lead before a 3-1 defeat earlier this summer in a Champions League qualifier. That two-goal victory is the biggest winning margin to date between the sides.
The sale of Moussa Dembele could come back to haunt the Scottish champions – particularly in Europe as they’ve yet to sign a replacement for their French goal ace who scored 26 goals in 55 appearances for the Bhoys.
This lack of fire-power is a worry so we’re going to give Rosenborg a two-goal start (+2 on the handicap at 1/2) and challenge Celtic to claw it back in the 8pm kick-off.