Leicester have been in very peculiar form since emphatically beating Manchester City at the Etihad earlier in the season. They have since suffered consecutive home defeats against West Ham and Aston Villa before turning their mini-slump around with a first win at Arsenal in 47 years.
In a way, Leicester’s form has echoed a far wider trend in English football that has seen away teams come away with three points on a far more regular basis and they could capitalise on that this Thursday night.
After all, there have been more away wins than home wins in the league this season and home advantage has essentially disappeared due to the absence of fans and that could play into Leicester’s hands on.
There will be some AEK Athens fans in attendance, but it won’t be anything like the partisan atmosphere that teams have encountered in Greece in the past and Leicester should be able to continue their flawless away form this season that has seen them win three times out of three on the road. AEK Athens were swatted aside by Braga on the opening day of the Europa League and Leicester really should win and make it six points out of six.
Tottenham, like Leicester, boast a flawless away record in the league with three wins out of three and they should continue that form on Thursday night. Jose Mourinho’s side find themselves in one of the weakest groups in the Europa League and realistically should have qualification sealed by the fourth matchday.
Mourinho opted to rest the talismanic duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in their opening-day win against LASK, but the side he fielded was still levels above anything the other three teams in the group can muster.
He will likely turn to Gareth Bale again, who is still lacking match sharpness, and there will also be a starting role for Lucas Moura, who has become increasingly bit-part since Mourinho took over.
Spurs have no excuses and should win this game convincingly to put one foot in the knockout stages of the Europa League so we’re backing Tottenham (-1) on the handicap.
Celtic are in dire straits at the moment. At risk of falling away in the Scottish Premiership title race, Neil Lennon’s side are also at risk of being dumped out of the Europa League at the group stages after a home defeat to AC Milan last time out. They have shipped eight goals in their last three games and look more vulnerable defensively than they have done in years.
It is hard to see them getting anything against a Lille side that only trail Ligue 1 leaders Paris St-Germain on goal difference. They have also been scoring goals for fun of late, firing 14 in their last five games, and it seems improbable that Celtic will be able to keep them out. Celtic’s Europa League campaign could turn disastrous in a high-scoring affair in which we’re on Lille to win & over 2.5 Goals.
*All odds correct at time of publication and they’re always bang on with our clever betting widgets.
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