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Europa League Tips: Thursday 29th November
by David Lenton
There’s plenty up for grabs in the Europa League this week as we reach Matchday 5.
The four British teams in the competition have had somewhat contrasting fortunes thus far. Celtic are still in with a shout in Group B, although they to win their next two games. Arsenal are top of Group E and look set to progress. Rangers are 3rd in Group G and face a must win trip to Villarreal to stand a chance and Chelsea are already confirmed as through in Group L.
With the above in mind I’ve gone through the fixtures this week and come up with the following tips for Thursday night.
Europa League Betting Tips: Thursday 8th November
November 29, 2018
November 29, 2018
Rosenborg have lost all four games in Group B so far, scoring 3 goals and conceding 12. They are unsurprisingly, bottom of the table.
Celtic are third with six points, tied with Leipzig, but with a worse goal difference. Both Celtic and Leipzig are six points behind leaders Salzburg.
For Celtic to qualify, they must better Leipzig’s results over the final two games in the group.
The teams have met three times already this season, in the Champs League qualifiers and then the Europa League. Celtic winning two and drawing the other game 0-0 in Norway.
It’s strange to think that these two teams have met three times already this season (Celtic winning 3-1 and then drawing 0-0 in a Champions League qualifier and then Celtic won a bad-tempered game at Celtic Park in the Europa League).
Add to that two games in the Europa League last season two, and the two teams are familiar foes. Rosenborg may be the top team in Norway but they have been the also-rans in this group, losing all four of their games so far.
Celtic know that this is a game they must win, to give themselves the best chance possible of qualifying with their final game at home to Red Bull Salzburg. After a slow start to the season, Brendan Rodgers team is looking much stronger now and as a result, I feel they can snatch the win here, but I think it is going to be a close 1-0 win.
Salzburg need just one point from their final two games to confirm themselves as the group winners.
Leipzig will likely need to perform better than Celtic over the final games in the group in order to qualify.
Both teams are sponsored by the drinks giant Red Bull, with some supporters sardonically calling the game the Red Bull derby.
The first game between the teams in Leipzig was an entertaining game that finished in a 3-2 victory for Salzburg.
The Red Bull derby sees the two teams who met in an entertaining game on the opening night in the Europa League clash once again, this time in Salzburg. The home side, who were 3-2 winners in that game, sit at the top of the group with maximum points and they look certain to qualify, needing just one point from their last two games to confirm their place in the knockout phase.
It is going to be interesting to see how they approach this game, given that both clubs are, essentially, owned by the same company and Leipzig are in need of a positive result in order to stand a chance of also qualifying ahead of Celtic.
The German side have been a little inconsistent in their performances in Europe this season, rather like they were in the Champions League last season, and perhaps their inexperience at this level does show in these close games.
Leipzig really will feel they need at least a point from this game against the 100% Salzburg team, and I think the German side have enough quality to get it.
Arsenal have already qualified from Group E picking up 10 points from their four games, scoring eight goals and conceding just two (both to Vorskla).
Vorskla lie third in Group E with three points ahead of Qarabag, they need to win both their final games to stand a chance of usurping Sporting Lisbon.
The first game in the group saw Arsenal defeat the Russian side 4-2 in London. The Gunners had led 4-0 until two late goals reduced the deficit.
Arsenal have not conceded a single goal in the competition since Sharpar’s 94th minute goal for Vorskla on Matchday One.
I think Arsenal’s major issue with this game is the length of the midweek trip in Europe, more so than the quality of the opposition. The Gunners were stronger winners than the 4-2 scoreline between the teams on Matchday One suggests.
With a heavy fixture list coming up in the Premier League, Carabao Cup and the Europa League, I can see Unai Emery opting to rest several star men now that qualification is assured and as such, I do expect to see a bit more rotation in the Spaniard’s team selection here.
In truth, it should not really matter. Vorskla didn’t show any real quality in the game with Arsenal, save from taking advantage of some sloppy Arsenal defending to grab two late goals that flattered them really and while I can’t see it being an easy win for Arsenal, I think their defence has improved a lot since then.
So much so that I think a 2-0 scoreline for the Gunners is the most likely outcome here.
The first game between the teams finished in an exciting draw, with three goals in the space of nine minutes seeing the game finish 2-2.
Rangers were top of this very tight group until their 4-3 defeat in Moscow, a defeat which moved them down to third place in the group.
Villarreal then moved to the top of the group by virtue of their 0-0 draw away to Rapid Vienna, with the Austrian side at the foot of the table.
The Spaniards are unbeaten in the group having won one and drawn three of their games in the tournament so far. Rangers sole defeat was their loss to Spartak Moscow in Russia.
This is a massive game for Steven Gerrard’s Rangers team as they face whatt is essentially a must-win game against unbeaten Spanish opponents, and very experienced Europa League campaigners, Villarreal.
The Spaniards have drawn three of their four games which suggests they are tough to beat, but not infallible, a point Rangers proved in their 2-2 draw in Spain between the teams. With Ibrox likely to be packed for this game, it is a match that Gerrard will hope will see his players inspired.
However, Rangers do face a team that is best set up to hit on the counter attack and who have vast experience in this competition, not to mention some very high calibre players in the likes of Bacca, Fornals, Sansone and ex-Arsenal man Cazorla.
I think being on the road plays into the Spanish teams hand as they can hit Rangers on the counter and as such, I believe the Spanish team will end up with the points at the end of the game.
David 'the Cheeky Punter' Lenton is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has also worked for a number of top bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. With such a long time spent dedicated to the gambling industry no one is better placed when it comes to advising punters. Follow on Twitter @thecheekypunter