Anderlecht v Tottenham

Spurs top their somewhat tricky looking Europa League group after two games thanks to a win at home to Qarabag and a draw at Monaco and now travel to Anderlecht, a side that many Spurs fans would have been cheering on last season as they came back from 3-0 down to salvage a famous draw against Spurs’ north London rivals Arsenal. Anderlecht have largely featured in the Champions League in recent times but have had a terrible record, winning just one of their 22 European games since 2012/13.

Indeed, Anderlecht have lost six of their last nine European home games, winning just once with four defeats by more than one goal. However, a number of those losses came against strong sides including PSG, Arsenal, and Dortmund, who are all ranked significantly higher than Spurs according to our grading system. Their home games in the Jupiter Pro League have been very tight affairs recently, with the last five all having fewer than three goals and three having fewer than two strikes.

Spurs have only won one of their five Europa League away matches since the start of last season with these games tending to be tight affairs as four had fewer than three goals and they failed to score in three games. Three of Spurs’ four away games in the Premier League this season have also had fewer than three goals, with two having fewer than two strikes.

Indeed,’unders’ looks the way to go with this one with Spurs’ recent away games in Europe have been low-scoring, while Anderlecht have themselves seen fewer than three goals in both their Europa League games this season and in five of their last six in Europe.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 4/5

Liverpool v Rubin Kazan

Liverpool’s second game under Jurgen Klopp sees them host Rubin Kazan in the Europa League. Liverpool drew their opening two matches in the competition under Brendan Rodgers as they failed to win at home in their last game against lowly FC Sion. Rubin Kazan have picked up just the solitary point so far and are struggling down in 12th in the Russian Premier League.

Liverpool have won just two of their 10 European matches since the start of last season, both wins by one goal at home to Besiktas and Ludogorets. Their record at Anfield in this time is W2-D2-L1 with the defeat coming against Real Madrid as they managed only one clean sheet. According to our grading system, Rubin Kazan are the 112th best side in Europe and Liverpool’s home record against teams outside the top-50 in Europe since 2009/10 is W6-D3-L0, with seven of these games being level at half-time.

Rubin Kazan didn’t qualify for European competition last season but prior to that they’d been regulars in the Europa League since 2010/11. Their away record since 2012/13 is an impressive W4-D5-L2, with the defeats coming against Chelsea and this season against Sion, perhaps suggesting they’re not the side they used to be. Indeed, going into that quarter-final against Chelsea in 2012/13 we had Rubin as the 27th best side in Europe but they’ve fallen away spectacularly in the last two seasons.

Since 2009/10, Russian teams have lost seven of their nine trips to England in the Europa League, the exceptions being against Everton and Wigan. Since Liverpool were level at half-time in four of their last five European home wins, in seven of their last nine in home at Europe against sides ranked outside the top-50, and in six of their nine Premier League matches this season, backing Klopp’s men to take until the second half to go ahead of Rubin Kazan looks the best play here.
Recommendation: Draw/Liverpool HT/FT - 1pt @ 10/3

Molde v Celtic

Celtic trail group leaders Molde by two points in Group A after they drew their opening two games against Ajax and Fenerbahce, though they will regard the result against Fenerbahce as two points lost as they were 2-0 up at home before letting in two goals in quick succession either side of half-time. Molde are 7th in the Norwegian Eliteserien ahead of this game whilst Celtic are currently occupying their customary position at the top of the SPL.

This is Molde’s first season in the Europa League since 2012/13 when they lost four of their six group stage matches, but managed to beat Stuttgart at home and away. They’ve started much better this season, however, winning at Fenerbache and drawing at home to Ajax, whom Celtic drew with on the road. Both teams have scored in three of Molde’s four Europa League home games since 2012/13 and in the league they’ve only lost three of their 14 home games this season, with three of the last four having at least four goals.

Despite beating the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan, and Man United at home in the Champions League since 2006/07, Celtic have remarkably won only one of their last 38 European away matches since 2003/04, with that win coming against Spartak Moscow in 2012/13. According to our grading system, Molde are ranked 196th in Europe and Celtic’s away record in Europe against sides ranked outside the top-100 since 2013/14 is W3-D4-L4, with the majority of these games being qualifiers for the Champions League.

Indeed, included within this sample was a defeat to FC Shakhter who we ranked as the 522nd best side in Europe at the time as well as draws against 228th Maribor and 275th Elfsborg. This, together with their dire overall away record in Europe, means that Celtic look a little short to us at 2.6 and so we’re siding with Molde in this one.
Recommendation: Molde+0 Asian Handicap - 1pt @ 11/10