Europa League MD1 Betting Preview & Tips: Contrasting emotions for Old Firm pair


SCOTTISH football aficionado Gerry Taylor (@thefurlongpole) shares his verdict on Thursday night's Europa League action involving Scottish clubs.

Celtic vs Milan | Thursday 22nd October 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport

In normal times this would be a mouthwatering Europa League tie played in front of 60,000 in Glasgow, with a noisy, vociferous atmosphere. Having no fan-backing is undoubtedly hindering Celtic’s performances this season, especially at home in Europe – the crowd was like an extra man.

At this stage it's unclear what kind of line-up Milan will put out. However, they will be oozing confidence after a Zlatan Ibrahimovic double helped the Rossoneri to a 2-1 derby win over Inter in Serie A on Saturday.

Celtic on the other hand, could not have put in a more abject performance than they did in the derby, losing 2-0. Rangers, if truth be told, won the match extremely comfortably, barely having to come out of first gear.

The Hoops should have a few of the missing players back, but it is hard to envisage much of an improvement. Neil Lennon seems to have a few issues within the dressing room, with the team selection having been leaked out on social media at the weekend, 24 hours before the clash with their fierce rivals.

Milan could not be facing Celtic at a better time and the 20/23 with BetVictor on a win for the Italians is definitely enticing.

Standard Liege vs Rangers | Thursday 22nd October 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport

Standard Liege come into this off the back of a 1-1 draw with Club Brugge. However, the Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is one of three players in their side to have tested positive for COVID. So at the time of writing, it’s not known how the Liege tests have come back after their weekend clash.

Rangers, on the other hand, have no such worries. In fact, the Gers could not be in better shape, they will be on a high going into MD1 in Europa League Group D. They have just won very convincingly against their arch rivals to go four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Domestic form aside, since Steven Gerrard took over at Rangers, their European form has been more than decent. Away from Ibrox he has overseen W6-D8-L4. You can see the improvement in the Teddy Bears: over last season and this, the 11 away UEL ties have seen them score 22 times.

The hosts in the last two seasons have failed to progress from the group stages in this tournament. They are poor away, but admittedly have been decent at home.

Taking everything into consideration – with the no real home advantage aspect now and the solid look that Rangers have at the moment – I will side with the Gers to continue their good momentum and claim all three points in this Group D opener. The visitors are 29/20 (Betfred).

Best Bets

Celtic vs Milan – Milan to win (20/23 BetVictor)

Standard Liege vs Rangers – Rangers to win (29/20 Betfred)

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