THERE are 12 Europa League matches kicking off at 20:05 BST on Thursday. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) went hunting for the best bets.
Estoril v Dinamo Moscow | Thursday 20:05
Although Estoril are having a nightmare season domestically (in the bottom four after just 1 win from their opening 7 league matches) they did finish fourth last season and look overpriced at 13/5 with Bet365 in this match. They finished bottom of their Europa League group last season but already look better equipped this time round. The Portuguese side kicked off with a narrow 1-0 defeat in Eindhoven against PSV last month and followed that up with a fine 2-0 win over Panathinaikos.
Their opponents Dinamo Moscow have won both their Europa League group matches so far. They beat Panathinaikos 2-1 in Greece before edging past PSV in the 93rd minute at home. Yes, they have three more points than Estoril, but do they really merit going off as short as 21/20 in Portugal? Not for me.
Estoril look equipped to be competitive here. I’m going to back them at 0 on the Asian Handicap at 6/4 with Bet365, meaning if it’s a draw I get my cash back. Will they win? I wouldn’t rule it out.
Borussia Monchengladbach v Apollon Limassol | Thursday 20:05
Ah, my kind of game this. Outsiders who’ll no doubt want it more, chalked up at massive odds. Yes, Monchengladbach are a far superior side, they’re 2nd in the Bundesliga, unbeaten in all competitions this season, but still should they really be as short as 2/11 to win this game? On what we’ve seen so far in the Europa League, it’s got to be a no. Lucien Favre’s side drew 1-1 at home to Villarreal in September and on Matchday 2 failed to beat FC Zurich. 2 games, 0 wins. Is there a case to suggest they’re not taking this as seriously as their domestic duties? I think so.
As a punter I’m a big fan of Cypriot football. I reckon you’d have a big profit figure if you backed the national side and their club sides in European competition. The national team stunned Bosnia at 18/1 in September and APOEL Nicosia have rewarded those of us who like them backing them on the Champions League handicap (did you watch them on Tuesday night?). So, let’s focus on Apollon Limassol on Thursday then. They kicked off their group campaign with a 3-2 win over Zurich (the team that Monchengladbach failed to beat remember?) before taking a bit of a doing at Villarreal. There’s enough positives there for me to baulk at the 17/1 offered up by BetVictor. 17/1!
Ok, they lost 4-0 to Villarreal, and that might happen again here in Germany, but I’m not convinced Borussia are taking this competition as seriously as Villarreal. So how can I get with the Cypriots? Again, it’s the Asian Handicap where I’ll turn to and back them at 8/11 with BetVictor receiving a two goal start. That means the only way I’ll lose cash is if they lose by 3 or more goals. I like the sound of that!
Estoril v Dinamo Moscow – Estoril 0 Asian Handicap (6/4 Bet365)
Borussia Monchengladbach v Apollon Limassol – Apollon Limassol +2 Asian Handicap (8/11 BetVictor)