Get ready for our next set of Europa League betting tips. The Europa League group stage is just one game old, but already we have witnessed the competition that exists across all 12 pools. It may be European football’s second string, but you wouldn’t know it with a lot of champions involved at this stage.
Football fans following the format will catch a glimpse of Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic, RB Leipzig, Bordeaux, Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Betis, Rangers, Villarreal, Frankfurt, Lazio, Marseille, Sevilla, Rennes and Chelsea, to name but a few. You can expect some big matches as well as plenty of high-profile upsets as managers take different views on the tournament.
We saw how Manchester United used it to great effect, winning the trophy and catapulting themselves back into the Champions League despite missing out on a top-four finish in the Premier League. Winning the Europa League may just be a more manageable task than challenging for the major places in English football’s top-tier at the moment.
Plenty write it off, seeing the games as little more than an inconvenience to their domestic drive for success, especially in the early exchanges when away from home. When trying to back an outright winner it’s worth taking this into consideration. Also remember the third-placed teams from the Champions League group stages drop in, making things all the more difficult.
The outright betting at present has Chelsea as 5/1 favourites with Arsenal leading the chasing pack on 15/2 and Sevilla back in third at 16/1. That makes for interesting reading but it’ll all change after the first six matches.
Read on as we preview two Thursday night’s ties worth betting on…
Chelsea – Vidi
Sarri won’t field his strongest side here, nowhere near it, but the players he does bring in will be good enough to build on last week’s win and strengthen their position in Group L. The Premier League outfit beat PAOK Salonika on the road before drawing 0-0 with West Ham, suggesting improvement is needed in the final third. We’re sure to see a comfortable win and a few goals scored.
Opponents Vidi lost to BATE Borisov and they have already taken up position at the foot of the pool. They’re expected to stay there too and any ambition the club has left will be well and truly knocked out of them in London. The away dressing room is in way over their head and if they don’t appreciate that before kick-off they certainly will do before the fixture is old. Getting a goal is the best they can hope for, but even that’s unlikely.
Chelsea Will Walk It at Home
As you would expect, Chelsea is nailed on favourites to get the job done here. It’s a case of predicting how they will win, rather than if. The locals are 1/10 at William Hill against the 20/1 of their opponents and 9/1 the draw. Neither makes any appeal, so we’re pushed into the special markets.
Chelsea to score in both halves is 4/9 (William Hill) and that looks worth a poke. Bet big as a single or add it to your Thursday night accumulators to boost returns. -2 goals on the handicap is another to consider with a cracking 4/5 up for grabs. The latter drops in as NAP of the game.
Other betting opportunities worth a mention are Chelsea half time/full time at 4/11, total goals over 3.5 8/11, win to nil 4/6, first to be the highest-scoring half 13/8, against the even money of the second and both teams to score at 6/5, with ‘no’ deemed more likely at 8/13.
Rangers – Rapid Vienna
Rangers made a storming start to their campaign when getting a draw away to Villarreal. The Ibrox side was up against it for most of the evening and the La Liga giants could’ve been, and probably should’ve been, three or four up by half-time, but the Scots took their chances and even had a late opportunity to win it.
On reflection, a draw was a very kind result but no one in Steven Gerrard’s crew was complaining as they held onto their unbeaten run in the competition. They now take part in their first home match as European nights return to Govan. It promises to be a special occasion, regardless of the result.
Rapid Vienna is the group leaders after banking a surprise win over Spartak Moscow. Move onto six points in Scotland and they’ll be in the driving seat for qualification, even at this early stage. They’ll head into the match confident too, looking to expose Gerrard’s lack of experience as a manager. Easier said than done, but there’s no doubting they are a very capable side.
Gers To Feed Off Special Atmosphere
It hasn’t paid to oppose Rangers in this format so far and we’re reluctant to take them on now. Gerrard is doing a fantastic job at the helm and he just keeps inspiring his boys to big results. They got a draw away to FC Ufa despite finishing with nine men. They gave Villarreal a bit too much respect away from home, but we don’t think they’ll make the same mistake here.
Rangers, at their best, could win this match and bookies have them as 11/10 favourites (William Hill), the draw at 12/5 with most firms and Vienna a decent 14/5 – top price when getting your stake down at Unibet. We’re going to back the home side to feed off a special atmosphere and grab an important win.
Rangers and Vienna have met twice before in recorded competitive history with The Bears boasting a 100% record. They crossed paths way back in 1964, the blues winning 1-0 at Ibrox in the European Cup before finishing the job on the road with a 2-0 away day. Fans would certainly take a repeat performance and let’s not forget the trends gave us a draw in Spain last time.
Chelsea -2 handicap @ 4/5 (William Hill)
Rangers win @ 11/10 (William Hill)