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Europa League Tips: Thursday 4th October
by the Cheeky Punter
We booked a small loss last time out in the Europa League, -£8.90 from £10 stakes, but we gained a lot of knowledge of how team are going to approach the competition.
I’m going to focus agin on the British teams, as I know them best, for this round of fixtures but as the tournament goes on and I learn more I might start to mix it up.
Here’s hoping that we can earn ourselves a few quid this week with the following Europa League tips.
Football Betting Tips: Thursday 4th October
October 4, 2018
October 4, 2018
Arsenal’s improvement continued with a 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday, a result which moved them above the Hornets into 5th in the Premier League.
Qarabag earned a 2-0 win against Sabah in their last league game in the Azerbaijan Premier League. They are joint top with Neftchi with 16 points from their 6 games.
A solid 4-2 win over Vorskla puts Arsenal top of Group E, whereas Qarabag were beaten 2-0 at Lisbon which leaves them at the bottom of the group.
Henrik Mkhitaryan may be forced to miss the game due to the political situation between his nation of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
A long trip to eastern Europe is never easy in midweek and the Gunners face one of the longest possible after drawing Qarabag in their group. The Azerbaijan side should not be underestimated after giving Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and AS Roma a stern test in the group stages of the Champions League last season.
Arsenal’s trip may be made without Henrik Mkhitaryan, who due to the political issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, may not be granted a visa to play in the game by the host country. That could also be a problem for Arsenal later in the tournament as the final to the Europa League is set to be hosted in Baku in May.
After a rocky start to the season, Arsenal seem to have turned things around well and Unai Emery is now getting more consistent performances from his team, although they are still occasionally a little rocky defensively at times.
I don’t see this one being like Arsenal’s opening group game with lots of goals, instead, I can see this being a hard fought contest with perhaps just a single goal enough to win it for the Gunners.
Scott Sinclair’s goal handed Celtic a 1-0 win over Aberdeen at the weekend, a result which moved them into fourth in the SPL, six points adrift of leaders Hearts.
Red Bull racked up their ninth win in nine games at the weekend with a thumping 4-1 win away to Wolfsberg with all the goals coming in the second half.
Celtic sit second in Group B after a 1-0 win over Rosenborg on the opening week. Salzburg are top of the table after a dramatic 3-2 win on the road over Red Bull Leipzig.
The teams met twice in the 2014 Europa League Group Stage, the teams drew 2-2 in Salzburg initially, but Salzburg ran out clear 3-1 winners in the second game in Glasgow.
Group B is a tough group with four teams who will all feel capable of moving into the next round of the tournament, so if a team is going to win through, they are going to need an away result at some point in the proceedings. The problem for Celtic fans though, is that their team is playing nowhere near as well as they did last season at the moment.
That’s a problem against a Salzburg side that were good enough to win a dramatic encounter against Red Bull Leipzig in Germany in the opening round of games. Leipzig may be weaker than last season, when they contested in the Champions League, but it was still a superb result for the Austrian side and puts them in control in the group.
This could well be Celtic’s most difficult trip in the group stage, especially given their recent form and performances and while I can see Brendan Rogers men grabbing a goal against a Salzburg team who are not great defensively, I cannot see them keeping a clean sheet at the other end.
For me, this is a game that Salzburg will win and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it is by a two goal margin.
Salzburg to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £36.00
Chelsea earned a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool at the weekend, a result which keeps them in third spot in the Premier League on 17 points from 7 games.
Videoton are sixth in the Hungarian League, but have two games in hand on the teams above them. Wins in both these games could move them to 2nd in the table.
Chelsea are second in Group L behind BATE Borisov following their 1-0 win away to PAOK Salonika. Vidi are bottom of the group following their 2-0 loss to BATE.
The two teams have never met previously. Vidi however did beat Man Utd on penalties on their way to the 1985 UEFA Cup Final, where they lost to Real Madrid.
It’s been a long time since a Hungarian team made a real impression in European football and after their opening day defeat, MOL Vidi (also known as Videoton) look unlikely to change that fact this season and as such, this is a game I am fully expecting Chelsea to win and win well.
Chelsea come into this game on the back of two big games against Liverpool and with this being against markedly weaker opposition, and another big Premier League weekend on the horizon, I am expecting Maurizio Sarri to ring in some changes here for this tie.
Not that it should matter, the depth of the Chelsea squad is such that Sarri could change all 11 players that played at the weekend and the Blue should still have far too much for a MOL Vidi side that have struggled domestically in Hungary this season.
I’m not expecting the visitors to grab a goal and while I am not sure how many Chelsea will score themselves, I am pretty confident it will be more than enough to take the three points in emphatic fashion.
Rangers currently lie fifth in the SPL, but with a game in hand on other teams as they face Livingston on Sunday. They are eight points adrift of leaders Hearts.
Rapid Vienna didn’t warm up well for this game, losing at home to St Polten 2-0 and having Andrei Ivan sent off. They are 7th in the 12 team Austrian Bundesliga.
Both teams will be happy with their start in a tough Group G, Rapid beating Sparak Moscow 2-0 at home, while Rangers earned a fine point in a 1-1 draw away to Villarreal.
The teams have met just twice previously back in the 1964/65 European Cup, Rangers winning 1-0 at home and then following that up with a 2-0 success in Austria.
Group G is a really tough group in the Europa League this season with four teams, all of whom will feel they have a chance of qualifying. Rangers point at Villarreal last time out was a well-deserved one but now they face a Rapid Vienna side who are in good form domestically and who defeated Spartak Moscow last time out.
Steven Gerrard’s side have hit some better form of late and, importantly, they have looked much stronger in front of goal. They also looked a threat on the counter against Villarreal but will be expected to take the game to Rapid in front of their own fans.
Rapid though are well set up to counter on Rangers themselves and this is a tricky one to call as the teams are both well matched and generally set up to play in similar ways and they also have similar strengths and weaknesses.
As such, I think home advantage could be the key with a roating Ibrox crowd being decisive in securing a narrow win for the home side.
The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.