Europa League Gameweek 3 Tips & Betting Preview
The British teams prepare for some tough matches in Gameweek 3.
RB Leipzig v Celtic
Celtic’s tough Europa League campaign continues on Thursday, and their trip to RB Leipzig is a daunting-yet-crucial one. Brendan Rodgers’ side have got themselves back to winning ways in the Scottish Premiership, with three wins out of three, but their last Europa League match ended in a 3-1 defeat against Salzburg, and the pressure is on Celtic to get a result.
The hosts are unbeaten in the Bundesliga since their opening day defeat against Borussia Dortmund. They have also scored 12 home goals with just three conceded, and are massive favourites to win this.
James Forrest is suspended following his red card against Salzburg, which is a massive blow considering he scored four goals against St. Johnstone a few weeks ago (perhaps not quite at the level of Leipzig, admittedly), and unfortunately the difference in quality between these two teams will tell.
Leipzig will win this, and win comfortably – therefore we're going for a -1 handicap as well.
Sporting CP v Arsenal
After watching Arsenal’s second-half dismantling of a good Leicester City side on Monday night, it’s perhaps time to start taking The Gunners seriously, particularly because they have now won 10 games in-a-row in all competitions.
What’s most striking about Arsenal is the number of goals they have started scoring: 22 goals in their last seven matches is an unbelievable return.
Their opponents, Sporting, sit 5th in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, and have tasted defeat in two of their last three domestic matches. However, like Arsenal, they have won both Europa League matches so far, and you feel this double-header will primarily serve to decide who tops the group.
Sporting do have a 100% record at home, but then Arsenal have scored 15 times in their six away matches; it’s not an easy one to call.
These days, betting on Arsenal to score goals is generally a good idea, so our favourite tip is for the Gunners to score two or more goals.
Chelsea v BATE Borisov
Though Chelsea have ‘only’ registered back-to-back Europa League 1-0 wins this season, we're backing them to break the shackles: I’m tipping a Chelsea -2 win.
Maurizio Sarri’s men face a BATE Borisov side who lost 4-1 at home to PAOK last time out, and we can see a similar story at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
While Chelsea haven’t quite fired on all cylinders in this competition yet, Sarri’s team selection suggests he still takes it very seriously (though Eden Hazard is a doubt), and if they show up, they’ll wipe the floor of their Belarussian visitors.
Rangers v Spartak Moscow
While it looks tough on paper, we're fairly confident Rangers will beat Spartak Moscow.
Steven Gerrard’s side have been formidable at Ibrox this season – winning nine and drawing one of their 10 home matches in all competitions – and we believe this electric atmosphere can inspire them on to add to this tally.
Spartak lost 2-0 away at Rapid Vienna – who Rangers beat 3-1 – and therefore we're backing the Scottish Premiership’s top-scorers to win this one and take a big step into the knockout round.