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Europa League Tips: Thursday 13th December

Europa League TipsOut of the two European competitions, over the last two years, I reckon that my Europa League tips have been by far the more favourable.

I’m not quite sure why that is, there’s not as big a difference in quality in the teams in the Europa League as there is the Champions League, so games should, in theory at least, be more evenly contested, which should make them more difficult to predict.

Despite this, I’ve had a couple of smashing results this season which have turned a big profit. I’m obviously aiming for another strong round with this Thursday nights tips.

Europa League Betting Tips: Thursday 13th December

December 13, 2018
Rapid Vienna
VS
Rangers
Allianz Stadion
5:55 pm
Rapid Vienna Logo
Rapid Vienna
VS
Rangers Logo
Rangers
December 13, 2018
Allianz Stadion
5:55 pm
Key Stats
  • No teams are certain of qualification in Group G, so plenty hinges on both final games which see Villarreal vs Spartak Moscow in the other group fixture.
  • A win for Rangers or Rapid Vienna would put that side through for sure. A draw would qualify Rapid Vienna and eliminate Rangers from the competition.
  • Both teams could top the group with a victory depending on the outcome of the Villarreal v Spartak Moscow tie.
  • Two goals from Morelos plus a Tavernier penalty gave Rangers a 3-1 win over Rapid when the teams met at Ibrox back in October. Berisha scoring for the Austrians.
Analysis:

Rangers may have beaten Rapid Vienna at Ibrox and 3-1 looks a comfortable win, but in truth, Rapid were in the game until the last few minutes when a penalty from Tavernier and a late strike from Morelos, his second of the game, gave the scoreline a somewhat flattering feel.

Still, regardless of that, a win for Rangers in Vienna would put them through regardless of what happens in the other game and if that game finishes in a draw or a win for Spartak Moscow, then Rangers could still top the group.

However a draw for Rangers would not be enough, so Steven Gerrard’s men will have to take a measured approach in this game in their quest for the win. So, I am expecting a tight first half with few chances, and then for the game to open up in the second.

Unfortunately for Rangers, I think this is going to be a bridge too far for them. They can score goals but they do ship plenty on the road conceding two in Villarreal and then four in Moscow. As such, I think Rapid Vienna may well get the win they need in order to progress.

Rapid Vienna to win - £10 returns £23.80
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December 13, 2018
Besiktas
VS
Malmo
Vodafone Park
5:55 pm
Besiktas Logo
Besiktas
VS
Malmo Logo
Malmo
December 13, 2018
Vodafone Park
5:55 pm
Key Stats
  • Group I of the Europa League is the most open with any of the four teams still in with a chance of qualifying as we head into the final games.
  • A win for Besiktas over Malmo would qualify them, however a draw may not be enough depending on the result of the Genk v Sarpsborg fixture.
  • Malmo must win to progress into the second phase of the competition. A draw will see the Swedish team eliminated.
  • Malmo won the reverse fixture 2-0 in October, an own goal from Erkin and a Markus Rosenberg penalty giving the Swedes the victory.
Analysis:

Things are very open in Group I with all teams still in with a chance or progressing to the next round depending on the outcome of these final group games. Besiktas know that to ensure they qualify, a win is a must.

It is the same story for Malmo and where there are situations where a draw could see Besiktas through, both teams will want to keep things in their own hands on the night and avoid having to wait on the outcome of the result from Belgium.

Besiktas should have been the standout team in the group but they have been inconsistent, especially on the road and the fact that this game is at home is a huge advantage for them against a Malmo side who beat them relatively comfortably in Sweden in October.

I think the fans will be key here and I can see Besiktas using that to their advantage to secure the win, although I can see the Swedes keeping things more than interesting by grabbing a goal.

Besiktas to win & both teams to score - £10 returns £37.00
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December 13, 2018
Celtic
VS
RB Leipzig
Celtic Park
8:00 pm
Celtic Logo
Celtic
VS
RB Leipzig Logo
RB Leipzig
December 13, 2018
Celtic Park
8:00 pm
Key Stats
  • Celtic need at least a point from their game with Red Bull in order to progress, although they would progress if Leipzig draw or lose against Rosenborg.
  • Red Bull Salzburg have won all five of their matches in the group so far and have qualified as the top team with the maximum 15 points, scoring 15 goals.
  • Celtic have scored just five goals in their five games so far in this competition, conceding six.
  • When the teams met in Austria in October, Salzburg ran out 3-1 winners, Eduoard had given Celtic the lead but two from Dabour and a striker from Minamino saw Salzburg through.
Analysis:

It’s going to be an exciting evening for Celtic fans at Celtic Park as they will know that a point in their game with Red Bull Salzburg will be enough for them to reach the Knockout Phase of the Europa League, which would be an achievement given the Celts start in the group.

However, they are facing a team with a 100% record in group games so far and who have beaten both Rosenborg and their sister club in Germany, Red Bull Leipzig both home and away, as well as inflicting defeat on Celtic in Austria earlier on in the competition.

This Salzburg team is one of the more proficient teams from Austria to have competed in European football over the last few years and they will certainly not make it easy for Celtic, however the fact that they are already through and confirmed as group winners, may just give Celtic a little extra hope that they may rest a few players for this game.

Even so, I still cannot see Celtic having things all their own way and I’d be surprised if Salzburg lost the game, but Celtic at home are formidable and as such, I think a draw is the likely outcome here which will probably suit both teams.

Draw - £10 returns £43.30
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December 13, 2018
Olympiakos
VS
AC Milan
Karaiskakis Stadium
8:00 pm
Olympiakos Logo
Olympiakos
VS
AC Milan Logo
AC Milan
December 13, 2018
Karaiskakis Stadium
8:00 pm
Key Stats
  • Real Betis have qualified from Group F, AC Milan just need one point from this game to join them in the knockout stages of the competition.
  • Olympiakos need to beat Milan by two goals or more in order to stand any chance of leapfrogging the Italian team into second spot.
  • When the teams met in Milan earlier in the tournament, the home side won 3-1 thanks to late goals from Cutrone (who struck twice) and Higuain.
  • The match between the two teams in October was the first time the two sides had met in European competition.
Analysis:

It’s going to be a tough ask for Olympiakos to grab a two goal victory over a Milan side that beat them 3-1 the last time out, however the fact that it took three late goals (in the space of nine minutes) to get the result for the Italian giants at the San Siro, will give them hope.

It’s fair to say that Real Betis have been the best side in Group F and deservedly are through and will, in all likelihood top the group, but Milan will be desperate to keep their European campaign going, especially after heavy investment in the squad over the last couple of years and in truth, they should be more than capable of getting the result they need.

For Olympiakos to have any chance of achieving the result they need, they will likely need an early goal, the crowd to be fiercely on their side and for their defence to keep a clean sheet. In truth, I can see the Greek side perhaps getting the former two, but I do feel Milan will score and take a point from the game which will see them through to the next phase.

Draw - £10 returns £36.00
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*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.

the Cheeky Punter
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.