BAKU welcomes Arsenal and Chelsea for the Europa League final on Wednesday night. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) runs the rule over the best betting options.
Partizan Belgrade v AZ Alkmaar | Thursday 19th September 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
One of the tightest betting heats of the night comes between Partizan Belgrade and AZ Alkmaar with a cigarette paper between the two in the Match Odds market.
The pair are in a group along with Astana and Manchester United; seemingly there is a qualification spot up for grabs so this is already a big game, even though it’s so early on.
The Partizan fans will ensure a feisty atmosphere awaits – it’s a tough place to go to and if you’ve not got the mentality then you could struggle. The Black-Whites have the likes of Zoran Tosic and Lazar Markovic who are familiar names on the European scene and they should score at home against a team with a less than convincing defence.
AZ are a young team this season, like most Dutch sides they’re happy to put faith in impressive prodigies. Their front three is really interesting with Oussama Idrissi, Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu. With a combined average age of 21 they’re technically very good; Boadu is now the number nine and at 18 years old that’s a lot of responsibility but he has taken his chances, scoring twice in the 5-1 shellacking of Sparta Rotterdam last time out.
I’m backing the away side to score here too so Both Teams To Score (4/5 William Hill) is the option. It’s landed in the last four AZ games and three of Partizan’s last four.
PSV Eindhoven v Sporting Lisbon | Thursday 19th September 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport
Sticking with another Dutch side here and this looks like a potential corker of a game as an in-form PSV welcome Sporting to Eindhoven.
It’s credit to the recruitment policy at PSV that they’ve sold on star man Hirving Lozano to Napoli but they’ve a new star to fill his shoes straight away in Donyell Malen. Malen has six goals to his name already and five of those came in the 5-0 win against Vitesse at the weeken,d and he therefore could be of interest at 7/5 to score anytime.
There’s alternative attacking threats too for the Dutch outfit. Stephen Bergwijn was long touted for a move to a major European team over the summer but he remains in situ. Ritsu Doan is a very clever signing from Groningen, statistically he was superb last season and it was an affordable price tag. Bruma also came in from Leipzig to add even more pace and energy to an already exciting roster.
Things have been complicated at Sporting club in the last year or two. There was such a divisive gap between the playing staff and the fans which led to a gang of ultras invading the training ground and physically assaulting players and staff. That incident was the tipping point for some of players who refused to play for the team thereafter.
That being said they do still have the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcos Acuna who are key for them going forward. Yannick Bolasie has made a surprise move to Lisbon too and for all he is erratic and unpredictable it does give opposition something to think about.
With home advantage I do fancy PSV to win here, however at odds-on I think they’re a touch short therefore I’ll throw in Both Teams To Score (5/2 Bet365) alongside a home win which pays 5/2 with Bet365.
PSV are an attacking unit and they do leave space on the break. The aforementioned trio for Sporting can be destructive on the break and look at team line-ups I don’t think there’s much of a gap in terms of quality. However, I do think home advantage is key here and with Sporting having lost 3-2 at home to Rio Ave and draw 1-1 at Boavista in their last two, I’m happy to side with the in form hosts.
Getafe v Trabzonspor | Thursday 19th September 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport
Let’s talk about Getafe. How well they did last season, just tailing off slightly at the end when a possible Champions Lleague place was up for grabs, however, Europa League qualification is a significant milestone for the Madrid-based club.
Dwarfed by big city brothers Real and Atleti, little Getafe deserved immense credit for their pursuits last season. José Bordelas made his tight-knit squad, super competitive and ultimately hard to breakdown. It’s slightly old school their approach, but it’s mighty effective with Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina striking up a strong partnership up front.
Mauro Arambarri, Nemanja Maksimivic And Faycal Fajr give solid protection to a usually watertight backline. Marc Cucurella is an astute pick up from Eibar and he has impressed since joining. Ultimately though they’re tough, physical and aggressive. Teams must hate coming up against them.
That aggressive nature has been reflected in the sheer number of cautions they pick up. Just this season alone they’ve seen 15 yellows and one red in just four games! It usually means they get a response out of the aggrieved opponents, Real Betis saw two red cards shown to them when the teams met, earlier in the season Atletico Madrid saw a red against them too.
I was tempted therefore to put up each team 20+ Booking Points, however visitors Trabzonspor have seen just six cards in their first four Super Lig games so I’ll leave that alone.
I’m amazed we can get 4/5 (SkyBet) on just Getafe themselves to collect 20+ Booking Points. It’s landed in all of their games this season. Last season they picked up a mammoth 104 yellows and seven reds. Average that out and it’s Over 30 Booking Points per-game, one of the highest in Europe no doubt.
This isn’t only the bet of the season, it could be the bet of all-time – I’m surprised it’s not shorter than 1/2. In fact, I’m going to also have a play on Getafe to collect 30+ Booking Points (11/4 SkyBet) too since the stats say it should be more of an even-money shot.
These prices would be significantly shorter if this was a La Liga game and the hosts will be bang up for it after years of being away from the European competitions. Outrageous value.
Partizan Belgrade v AZ Alkmaar – Both Teams To Score (4/5 William Hill)
PSV Eindhoven v Sporting Lisbon – PSV Eindhoven to win and Both Teams To Score (5/2 Bet365)
Getafe vs Trabzonspor – Getafe to earn 20+ Booking Points (4/5 SkyBet)
Getafe vs Trabzonspor – Getafe to earn 30+ Booking Points (11/4 SkyBet)