The Europa League is home to 48 of Europe’s best teams, all looking to make the final in Baku next May. This week, I’ll take a look at all 24 games – many of which are sure to provide plenty of entertainment – and try and find the best value for bettors.
Let’s get started!
Anderlecht vs Dinamo Zagreb
Odds – Home Win (2.25)
Away Win (3.45)
Anderlecht are one of Belgium’s top teams, and they find themselves in the Europa League after a Champions League showing last year. They currently sit at third in the Belgian Pro League, and they’ll be looking to rebound from a tough loss against Spartak Trnava last week.
Dinamo Zagreb have been much more successful in their campaign. They’re comfortably atop in Croatia’s domestic league, and they battered a Fenerbahce team that’s arguably the top team in the group.
Priced at 3.45, Zagreb are pretty heavy underdogs for this matchup, but the stats suggest otherwise. Zagreb is Croatia’s premier team, and they have the weapons to challenge any team in the tournament, especially a struggling side like Anderlecht. This is my favorite pick of the week, and I think Zagreb will take this one with ease.
Prediction: Anderlecht 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
FC Krasnodar vs Sevilla
Odds – Home Win (3.05)
Away Win (2.35)
Krasnodar are one of Russia’s top teams, and they’ve impressed so far in the domestic league, finding themselves second in Russia. They have a great attack capable of scoring plenty of goals, and they earned a win away against Akhisar.
Sevilla have established themselves as one of Spain’s top clubs as they sit third in La Liga. Their attack is ferocious, particularly with the addition of Andre Silva from Milan, and they easily dispatched of Standard Liege in their first Europa League match.
Say what you want, but Sevilla are huge favorites for this matchup. The Spaniards won the Europa League three times in a row from 2014-2016, and they have plenty of experience facing off against Europe’s top competition. Sevilla is one of the best clubs in the world, and simply put, Krasnodar don’t have the weapons to compete with the Spanish side.
Sevilla’s odds are looking good, and this is an incredibly safe pick that could offer huge upside when played right.
Prediction: FC Krasnodar 1-3 Sevilla
Rangers FC vs Rapid Wein
Odds – Home Win (2.00)
Away Win (3.75)
Rangers have not seen the start they wanted. In 7 games, they’ve earned just 11 points, and they find themselves mid-table in the Scottish Premier League. They barely qualified for the Europa League via a play-off, but they played surprisingly well to draw against a solid Villareal side.
Rapid Wein have been dismal in the Austrian Bundesliga. They currently sit at 8th out of 12 teams, averaging just a point per game. However, there’s still hope for Austria’s most successful club; they were able to win their first game against Spartak Moscow, and if they can grab a win here, they’ll have put themselves in a great position to make it to the knockout rounds.
Despite Rangers’ more influential status, I think Rapid Wein could trouble the Scottish team. Rapid Wein will have plenty of momentum heading into this one, and their team stacks up well against Rangers’. With the odds looking more than favorable, Rapid Wein could be a great pick for this one.
Prediction: Rangers 1-2 Rapid Wein
Spartak Moscow vs Villareal
Odds – Home Win (2.80)
Away Win (2.50)
Spartak Moscow are one of Russia’s most successful teams, and while they haven’t performed to the best of their ability in recent weeks – dropping their only Europa League match to Rapid Wien, they’ve shown flashes of brilliance, and they can certainly compete with other top teams.
Villareal have failed to impress as well. They’re currently 12th in La Liga, and they were only able to earn a sole point at home against the Rangers. The Spanish club will be looking to improve on last year’s result and make it to the knockout stages once again.
Neither team is looking great thus far, but I’d give the edge to Moscow in this matchup. Their home field advantage is crucial; Russia is a long plane fight from Spain, and the Russian crowds are incredibly rowdy. Priced at 2.8 to 1, Spartak Moscow provide great upside.
Prediction: Spartak Moscow 1-1 Villareal
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Lazio
Odds – Home Win (2.28)
Away Win (3.10)
Frankfurt are not one of the Bundesliga’s biggest names, but they were able to qualify for the Europa League nonetheless. They haven’t had the greatest start to the league this year, but they surprised many with an away win at Marseille.
Lazio haven’t had the greatest start to their domestic campaign either, but looks may be deceiving. The Biancocelesti have only won four of seven games, but their three losses have come against Italy’s top teams – Juventus, Napoli, and Roma.
Lazio have one of Italy’s best attacks. Immobile, Luis Alberto, and Milinkovic-Savic make for a great trio, and they’re certainly capable of both creating and finishing chances. Frankfurt may have gotten a win against Marseille, but I don’t think they have what it takes to beat Lazio, and I certainly don’t think Lazio should be the underdogs in this matchup.
Prediction: Frankfurt 1-2 Lazio
If you didn’t see the matchup you’re interested in above, I’ve listed the remaining matchups below along with my personal picks. There are certainly some good opportunities here as well, so if you do some research, you’ll be able to find value.
FC Astana vs Rennes
Odds – Home Win (2.30)
Away Win (3.30)
Prediction: Astana 2-1 Rennes
AC Milan vs Olympiakos
Odds – Home Win (1.49)
Away Win (7.50)
Prediction: Milan 3-1 Olympiakos
Bayer Leverkeusen vs AEK Larnaca
Odds – Home Win (1.36)
Away Win (8.50)
Prediction: Leverkeusen 3-0 Larnaca
Bordeaux vs FC Copenhagen
Odds – Home Win (1.85)
Away Win (4.50)
Prediction: Bordeaux 2-0 Copenhagen
Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting Lisbon
Odds – Home Win (5.20)
Away Win (1.80)
Prediction: Vorskla Poltava 1-2 Sporting Lisbon
FC Zurich vs Ludogorets
Odds – Home Win (2.90)
Away Win (3.40)
Prediction: FC Zurich 1-1 Ludogorets
Fenerbahce vs Spartak Trnava
Odds – Home Win (1.35)
Away Win (8.00)
Prediction: Fenerbahce 2-0 Spartak Trnava
Qarabag vs Arsenal
Odds – Home Win (8.00)
Away Win (1.45)
Prediction: Qarabag 0-4 Arsenal
Real Betis vs Dudelange
Odds – Home Win (1.16)
Away Win (14.00)
Prediction: Real Betis 3-1 Dudelange
Red Bull Salzburg vs Celtic
Odds – Home Win (1.53)
Away Win (6.10)
Prediction: Red Bull 2-1 Celtic
Zenit vs Slavia Praha
Odds – Home Win (1.78)
Away Win (4.70)
Prediction: Zenit 2-0 Slavia Praha
Apollon Limassol vs Marseille
Odds – Home Win (4.10)
Away Win (1.92)
Prediction: Apollon 0-2 Marseille
Bate Borisov vs PAOK
Odds – Home Win (2.95)
Away Win (2.65)
Prediction: Borisov 0-2 PAOK
Chelsea vs MOL Vidi
Odds – Home Win (1.10)
Away Win (20.00)
Prediction: Chelsea 5-1 MOL Vidi
Baumit Jablonec vs Dynamo Kyiv
Odds – Home Win (2.58)
Away Win (2.84)
Prediction: Baumit Jablonec 1-2 Dynamo Kyiv
Malmo vs Besiktas
Odds – Home Win (3.30)
Away Win (2.15)
Prediction: Malmo 0-2 Besiktas
Sarpsborg 08 vs KRC Genk
Odds – Home Win (5.30)
Away Win (1.52)
Prediction: Sarpsborg 08 0-2 Genk
Standard de Liege vs Belediyespor
Odds – Home Win (1.40)
Away Win (7.00)
Prediction: Standard de Liege 2-0 Belediyespor
Extras – Other Opportunities Around The League
Incredible Immobile – Will The Italian Find The Net?
Odds – 1 Goal (2.7)
2 Goals (6.5)
Ciro Immobile is an unlikely hero. The Italian has enjoyed an incredible run of form in the past couple of seasons, and he’s cemented himself as one of the world’s best strikers. He is cool, calm, and collected in front of goal, and while he does not possess any stunning abilities, he is incredibly effective when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net.
In four games in the Serie A, Immobile has already scored four goals, and he’ll be hungry for more when he faces off against Frankfurt. Lazio will need all the goals they can get if they want to emerge with the victory, and Immobile, as always, will lead the charge for the Biancocelesti’s excellent attack.
Arsenal’s Attack – Will The Gunners Shoot Down Qarabag?
Odds – Arsenal -1 (2.25)
Arsenal -2 (4.4)
Arsenal -3 (9.5)
After a convincing win against Vorskla in the Gunners’ first Europa League match, they face another weak opponent – Azerbaijan’s Qarabag FK. Arsenal have an excellent midfield – one capable of maintaining possession and creating chances. But where they truly shine is in attack. They have two incredible strikers in Aubameyang and Lacazette, and there’s certainly no shortage of offensive talent to go around.
Against such a weak side, Arsenal should be the overwhelming favorites. While the English club likely won’t field their typical starting XI, they should still have the weapons to comfortably defeat Qarabag, and the odds are great – promising a four to one return should Arsenal win by four goals or more.
Germany vs Italy – A High Scoring Affair
Odds (O/U) – 2.5 Goals (1.86)
3.5 Goals (3.25)
4.5 Goals (6.5)
While the Germans and Italians typically pride themselves on defense, Frankfurt and Lazio seems to be set for a couple of goals at the very least. Lazio’s defense, while strong, is not nearly as strong as that of the other top Italian teams, and Frankfurt is known to have some mental lapses in defense.
The Biancocelesti have one of the best attacks in Italian football, and Immobile is arguably the best striker in the Serie A. Neither team should have any trouble finding the back of the net, and once both teams start to warm up, we could see a flurry of attacking action. Three or four goals would make for an incredibly entertaining match, and it would also make this pick incredibly valuable for bettors.
Can Hajrovic Continue His Scoring Spree?
Odds – 1 Goal (3.00)
2 Goals (25.00)
There is an unlikely name on the list of the Europa League’s top goalscorers – Izet Hajrovic. The Bosnian winger scored two goals for Zagreb in their last match against Fenerbahce, and he has a great opportunity to add to that tally when his team travels to Anderlecht.
While Zagreb’s defense is prone to errors, their attack has been impeccable, and over the course of their nine league matches, they’ve already scored 16 goals. Despite Hajrovic’s great performance in Zagreb’s first match, he is still given great odds to score a goal in this week’s game. Lesser-known players, especially forwards, are known to get on scoring sprees, and Hajrovic will look to do exactly that.