dThe Europa League group stage finally begins this week and we’ve taken a look at some of the ‘best of the rest’ action here where Bayern Leverkusen are at home to Nice, Napoli host AZ Alkmaar and Young Boys welcome Roma to Bern. Let’s have a look at where we’ve found some value in the betting markets.
Leverkusen have not got their league campaign off to a great start, having won just once and drawn three of their opening four. They’ve only managed to score three goals as well and have conceded two. Nice, on the other hand, are going quite…err….nicely (sorry, couldn’t resist) in the league, having won four, drawn one and lost two in Ligue 1 so far this campaign, scoring 10 and conceding nine.
While both teams aren’t scoring loads they are usually registering one per match. Leverkusen have had five games in total (four league, one cup) and scored in four of them, Nice have scored in five out of seven, one of which was against PSG so we won’t be too harsh on them.
The home side are quite heavy favourites here but they’re just not scoring enough for us to give them a confident nod. Both teams are conceding a few as well so we think Over 1.5 goals or Both Teams to Score could be the best way to go here.
Like the game above Napoli come into this one as heavy favourites – even more so than Leverkusen – and the gulf in class between Italy’s Serie A and the Dutch Eredivisie should be evident for everyone to see here. Napoli have started the season fairly well, winning three and losing one of their four league matches, scoring 12 and conceding four. Alkmaar have drawn all four of their matches but have scored 10 and conceded 10.
Both teams are in great goal-scoring form as you can see from those figures and drilling down even further, Napoli have scored 17 in their five most recent at home while Alkmaar have scored nine over their five most recent matches on the road. Three out of three recent home Napoli fixtures have seen Over 3.5 goals, as have both of AZ Alkmaar’s two most recent away matches so we’re backing that trend to continue.
Young Boys have recovered well since the 3-0 loss to Midtjylland that saw their hopes of Champions League football disappear. Since then they’ve won four and drawn two of their six matches, scoring seven and conceding just one. Roma have started their season with two wins, a draw and a loss, scoring eight and conceding seven.
At home Young Boys are particularly strong. The last competitive match they lost was to Porto in the Europa League last November, so they’ve gone almost a year without a loss at home. Roma though are a tad bit better than the usual Swiss league teams they come up against and away from home they’ve won three and lost two of their five most recent. Although Roma are favourites here that impressive home record for Young Boys cannot be dismissed.
It must be added too that Roma’s away Europa League record is pretty bad – they’ve won just two of their last seven on the road in the competition. With that in mind we’re backing Young Boys Double Chance here.
Europa League bet summary – Thursday, October 22
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