Europa League Gameweek 4 Best Bets
We are heading towards the business end of the Europa League group stage.
BATE Borisov v Chelsea - 4:55am
After a couple of 1-0 wins, Chelsea’s Europa League entered full swing against BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago – registering a resounding 3-1 win.
In the return fixture, we're expecting a similar type of result, so therefore I’m backing a Chelsea -1 victory.
The Belarussian side lost their only home game so far 4-1 against a relatively ordinary PAOK side, and Maurizio Sarri will want to wrap this group up as quickly as possible to rest players from the final two matches.
Spartak Moscow v Rangers - 4:55am
Rangers’ European campaign has been excellent thus far, sitting top of a group containing Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and their opponents on Thursday: Spartak Moscow.
The Russians are currently bottom of the group, with two draws and one defeat, and though they are the home side, we're actually backing Steven Gerrard’s men to go and secure a very good point.
The form book certainly suggests this will be the case: in Rangers’ six European away games this season (including qualifiers), five have been stalemates; the draw looks even more likely when you see that Spartak have only one home win out of six in all competitions.
Rangers have been solid-if-unspectacular away from home, while Spartak are clearly vulnerable. It’s a decent opportunity for Rangers to win, but a draw looks like better value.
Arsenal v Sporting - 7:00am
Another simple tip, where we are going for an Arsenal -1 win.
The Gunners have been excellent at The Emirates this season, but more importantly, all but one of their home wins have been by a margin of two goals or more.
Of course, Sporting are decent opponents – they sit 3rd in the Portuguese Primeira Liga– but they have been inconsistent away from home; defeats against Braga and Portimonense suggest they’re in trouble against Arsenal.
Celtic v RB Leipzig - 20:00
We end with a funky, price-boosted tip for Celtic v RB Leipzig: Jean-Kevin Augustin to score and RB Leipzig to win.
Though his involvement in the Bundesliga has been slightly limited – due mainly to the excellence of Timo Werner – Augustin has been a Europa League regular for Leipzig; he also has three goals for his troubles (including qualifiers).
The German side are streets ahead of Celtic in terms of quality, shown by their routine 2-0 win against Brendan Rodgers’ men a fortnight ago, and I have no doubts they’ll win this one too.