Europa League Round Four Betting Tips & Predictions
Moving away from the Champions League for the night and we are into the Europa League Round Four betting tips. We’re now into the second-half of the Europa League group campaign; although some pools are taking shape, the winners and losers already obvious, most have everything to play for as we head into round four. All matches take place on Thursday night with kick-off times staggered between 3.50pm and 8.00pm.
Every fixture enjoys the live TV treatment courtesy of BT Sport, which is great news for both armchair fanatics and lovers of a bet. You can have your say on a number of markets in every tie; these include match winner; both teams to score; half-time/full-time; handicap and first goal scorer. Or you could pick a few of your favourites across the board and club them together in an accumulator. Get your sums right and you could be in line for a massive pay-out. That would certainly spark your Thursday night to life.
We’ve sifted through the legs and return with our pick of our best two, including where you should invest your stake money for a return.
Spartak Moscow v Rangers
Spartak Moscow held on for an unexpected draw in Glasgow two weeks ago when it looked like they would become just another stat on Gerrard’s impressive European run. It was far from pretty, the Russians wasting time, muscling opponents and spending most of the game in their own half, but it was a prime example of how to conduct yourself on the road in this competition when in with a decent side and, although frustrated, we’re sure their opponents will be happy if they can do the same on Thursday night.
Despite the away draw the home side remain rooted to the bottom of Group G on two points – a win followed by two draws – but they are still very much in with a shout of qualifying as, at this stage, just three points separates Rangers in pole and Moscow in fourth. That means we can put a line through the top vs bottom aspect. The People’s Team have been less than impressive in the Russian Premier League, sitting fifth after 12 games, their record reading five wins against four draws and three defeats.
Gerrard Demands Better
Rangers fans were disappointed when only taking a point at home to Spartak. However, that shows the improvement that has been brought about in Govan since Steven Gerrard took the helm. A draw against a side accustomed to playing in the Champions League is much better than followers were watching last season as Pedro stood in a bush promising better times ahead. One thing those loyal to The Bears struggle to deal with, however, is domestic failure. They are still hurting following a 1-0 defeat to Aberdeen in the semi-final of the League Cup at Hampden last month.
Most expected Rangers to breeze through and book their spot in the final two against Old Firm rivals Celtic. Many Aberdeen fans seem to have felt the same way and didn’t bother making the trip down to Glasgow for the match; however, those who did travel enjoyed a memorable win. Rangers dominated possession but couldn’t take advantage of the chances that came their way.
The Dons needed only one, Ferguson crashing home from a corner with 79 minutes on the clock. The small band of fans erupted, knowing they had pulled off an important result. Gerrard wasn’t messing around in his post-match interview, promising to ship players out if they’re not good enough.
Scots Aim to Keep It Tight
As already mentioned, if Rangers can go to Moscow and do what Spartak did in Glasgow, they will be overjoyed. We expect the Scots to set-up in a similar fashion, packing the defence and looking to hurt their opponents on the counter-attack when the chance presents itself. They certainly have the ability, on paper anyway, with a tight backline and pace going forward.
This isn’t their first trip to Russia in this competition, of course. They defeated FC Ufa over two legs and were so dogged in their approach over there, they managed to take the lead then leave with a 1-1 draw despite playing a large part of the match with nine men. Morelos and Flanagan were sent off by a card happy referee.
The draw is our bet and we’re sure it’ll see plenty of interest from Rangers fans back in the UK. Those getting involved should do so at 14/5 through Unibet. We’re comfortable on the fence.
Arsenal – Sporting Lisbon
Here we have a meeting of the top-two sides in Group E as Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon meet in London under the bright lights of the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners set the pace with nine points on the board from three outings. They are well on their way to living up to expectations and qualifying for the next phase; anything less would’ve been a bitter blow for Emery and his troops. What we have found surprising, however, is just how seriously the hosts have taken this format so far; Arsenal has consistently fielded strong sides and has resisted the urge to view it, as many top teams do, as an inconvenience.
That shows in their results and they have already scored eight goals and conceded just two. Part of that treble was a crucial away win over Lisbon in the last round of matches; they battled to a 1-0 on the road thanks to a winning goal from Welbeck, the striker making the difference on 77 minutes. Emery, speaking to the press at full-time, assured supporters the players were taking one match at a time and enjoying playing football and winning matches. That would’ve been music to the ears of those who pay to attend the Europa League campaign. A home win is evens with the same firm. That’s our best bet.
Lisbon Revenge Unlikely
Sporting Lisbon will be hoping to gain revenge over their English Premier League opponents by snatching a win on the road; however, it’s not seen as being too likely by many in the know, least of all bookmakers who make the visitors outsiders to get anything from the contest. They gave a decent effort a fortnight ago and finished the match with 15 shots at goal. However, they failed to put any of them on target and that’s something that will need addressed on the training field. To have any chance against a side of Arsenal’s calibre you simply must take the chances that come your away, no matter how difficult.
That 1-0 defeat was their first of the competition and moved their stats to win-win-lose, leaving them with six points on the board. Sitting three behind their opponents, Lisbon will be glancing over their shoulder to see Poltova are three behind and playing basement boys Qarabag on Thursday. Win that, Sporting lose, and the pressure will be on to finish second behind The Gunners. Forget the away day, even with Bet365 dangling a juicy 9/1 carrot out there. The draw is 4/1 when doing your betting with 888sport. Again, not enough to tempt us.
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