Qarabag v Arsenal
Both Teams to Score: No – 3/4
There’ll be no looking back at Baku for the Gunners if they can roll into Azerbaijan and collect all three points in their second group game, as a tense and testy affair is to be expected based on the host’s previous form in Europe.
Not exactly known for bagging goals, Qarabag have seen seven of their previous nine European games end under 2.5 goals, and while they’re not the flashiest name, they have secured the occasional creditable results, most notably home and away draws against Atletico Madrid twice last season.
Arsenal likely won’t have this all their own way.
We’d still expect their quality to tell, but “no” on the BTTS market looks a reasonable shot should the home side upset the Premier League side.
Red Bull Salzburg v Celtic
Handicap: Salzburg -1 – 6/4
Salzburg have charged into this season, going undefeated in their 16 games so far and only missing out on the Champions League group stage due to away goals.
Celtic’s hoops could look like a red rag to Salzburg given the Glasgow team’s shortage of goals. With doubts about their transfer policy and Brendan Rodgers’s future casting a shadow over the club, and their European away record giving little to cling to, the worry is they could be skewered by a stampeding opponent .
Salzburg will expect to dominate here and can take advantage of Rodgers’ toothless side. The -1 handicap gives a bit of value with them to win heavily odds-on.
Rangers v Rapid Vienna
Match Odds: Rangers – 10/11
In return, Austria sends Rapid Vienna to Ibrox to take on Celtic’s Glasgow rivals.
Steven Gerrard’s side were defeated by Livingston on Sunday and that does not augur well, but Vienna have already said good night to their manager after three defeats to start their league campaign, so the ‘Gers should be in with a shout here.
The visitors did win their first Europa League game, against Spartak Moscow, while Rangers were drawing in Spain against La Liga class in Villarreal.
That kind of result shows the effect the Liverpool legend is having on his team and means they should be able to capitalise on the Austrian’s rocky start.
Chelsea v MOL Vidi
Alternative Handicap: Chelsea -2 – 4/5
The Blues have brightened up the opening weeks of the league with their attacking play and the positive attitude brought in by their chain-smoking chief Maurizio Sarri.
We can’t see him needing too many drags in this game though, as the visitors to Stamford Bridge are the weakest side in the group.
Chelsea will likely rotate players, but even still, the gulf in class should show, and the home side on the alternative handicap appeals to add to our acca.
*All odds correct at time of posting