5 Europa League Tips to Watch for Gameweek 4

Sparta Prague vs Celtic: Sparta Prague to Win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1

Sparta Prague and Celtic face up to each other on matchday 4 of Group H in the Europa League, in what is a must-win match for both clubs if they are to advance to the knockout phases of the competition.

The Czech Republic side humiliated Neil Lennon’s Celtic at Celtic Park on matchday three, hammering the Scottish champions 4-1 with a hat-trick from Lukas Julis being the highlight of the game. This victory is Sparta’s only win in the tournament, whilst Celtic have just one point to their name having surrendered a 2-0 lead away at Lille, where they conceded two goals in the final 25 minutes of the game to Zeki Celik and Jonathan Ikone, having gone ahead thanks to Mohamed Elyounoussi’s first-half brace.

This fixture on paper has the hallmarks of being a tight and edgy affair, with both teams desperately needing the victory to have a fighting chance of qualifying, which is why odds are 11/4 for a narrow Sparta Prague win, with home advantage against an out of form Celtic side who had to come back from 2-0 down to rescue a late 2-2 draw against Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

Lille vs AC Milan: BTTS in Both Halves

The other game in Group H sees Lille play AC Milan at Stade Pierre Mauroy, in a battle for the top of the group.

Lille won the return game 3-0 in Italy, where Yusuf Yazici became the first player to score a hattrick at the San Siro against AC Milan in 20 years, ending the Italian side’s 24 game unbeaten run in all competitions. Yazici’s feat means that the Turkish midfielder is currently the Europa League’s top goalscorer with six goals having scored back to back hat-tricks, with the other coming in a 4-1 demolition of Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic.

AC Milan, who are top of Serie A, following their 2-1 win vs Napoli on the weekend will be looking to seek revenge against a Lille side that have only kept one clean sheet in European competitions in their last 14 matches, which ironically came against the Rossoneri last time out. Milan haven’t been shy of goals in the competition, as they’ve scored six goals themselves over two games away at Celtic and at home to Sparta Prague, meaning that 9/1 for both teams to score in each half looks a potential winner.

Sporting Braga vs Leicester City: Jamie Vardy to Score First or Last

Jamie Vardy is a name that always springs to mind when thinking of Leicester City’s main goal threat ever since the Foxes won the Premier League title in 2016.

So far this season Vardy has carried on his goalscoring form, with eight goals in eight Premier League matches, as well as a goal in his only Europa League appearance against AEK Athens in Greece. Leicester were beaten 3-0 on Sunday by Liverpool at Anfield, but will be looking to bounce back to winning ways against Sporting Braga, where a win would more or less see them confirmed as Group G winners ahead of the Portuguese side due to Leicester winning all three group games.

With this fixture arguably being the Foxes most difficult test in the group, it would be a surprise to see Vardy rotated, and in such good goalscoring form you wouldn’t back against the Leicester forward from scoring. Vardy to score first or last is priced at 13/5.

Slovan Liberec vs Hoffenheim: Andrej Kramaric to Score and Hoffenheim to Win

Former Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric is currently Hoffenheim’s top goalscorer this season with nine goals in all competitions and is priced at 11/10 to score in a win away at Slovan Liberec.

The German side have been ruthless so far in this season's UEFA Europa League, and are the tournament’s second top scorers behind Villarreal having scored 11 goals in three matches, conceding just one goal.

Meanwhile, in contrast, Slovan Liberec have the worst defensive record in the Europa League, conceding ten goals in their first three group stage matches. Despite this, they did beat KAA Gent 1-0 on matchday one, but lost 5-1 to Red Star Belgrade and were also thumped 5-0 by Hoffenheim in the return game. If the form guide is to have any bearings, it would be a big surprise if this one didn’t come off!

Cluj vs AS Roma: Both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Edin Deko to Score

Italian side AS Roma currently sit top of Group A with two wins and one draw, with Cluj sitting just three points behind them in third.

Last time out Roma hammered the Romanian side 5-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, where Europa League specialist Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored in the opening minute of the game. The Armenian has a good record in the competition going back to 2016/17 where he scored in five different away games for Manchester United on the way to their Europa League triumph. As for Edin Dzeko, he has scored three goals in five Serie A games this season on return to fitness and scored three goals and made three assists for Roma in the Europa League last season.

A win for the Italian side would nearly confirm their place in the knockout stage, so it is expected that they will put out their strongest side with the intent to qualify from the group stage as early as possible. Both Mkhitaryan and Dzeko to score against Cluj on Thursday is priced at 11/2.


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