THE Europa League continues on Thursday night. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) runs the rule over the best betting options in games not involving British interest.
Lazio v Cluj | Thursday 28th November 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
Lazio have to win this and with home advantage, it would be a surprise if they didn’t. The Biancocelesti are on just three points which is disappointing given the quality of the squad; losing in Romania and Glasgow wasn’t the best of starts but then losing late to Celtic in the Olimpico was a major kick in the teeth. It means the capital club simply have to win their next two games to have any chance of going through.
Cluj have been the surprise package of the group, many expected them to be the whipping boys but they’ve got an excellent chance of making the knockout stages. The Najpoca-based club have benighted from a few red cards going in their favour but you have to give them credit as they’re comfortably second with nine points to their name.
That means a point here will see Cluj through and therefore they have something to hold on to from the first whistle. Given that I’m always inclined to get with the cards and it’s the 10/11 (SkyBet) on both teams to collect 20+ booking points that appeals.
Lazio love a card themselves, domestically they’ve picked up 36 yellows and 2 reds in 13 games, pretty much an average of 3 per game. Should they go in front here they’ll have a lead they’ll be keen to hold onto and given the magnitude of the clash it would be no surprise to see them get a couple of cautions.
Cluj have averaged over 20 booking points per game in their Europa League campaign, two reds have also been shown to them. In their native league they’ve seen a similar average with 36 yellows and 3 reds in 17 games.
AZ Alkmaar v Partizan Belgrade | Thursday 28th November 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport
This exuberant and youthful AZ Alkmaar side are my guilty pleasure this season. The ‘Cheeseheads’ have been on fire of late and credit to Manager Arne Slot who has brought through a host of young talents all together at the same time. It’s proved extremely fruitful and created some genuine assets for Chairman Rene Neelissen.
The trio of Oussama Idrissi, Calvin Stengs and Myron Boadu have picked up many an admirer and the latter pair both got deserved call ups to the Dutch national team at the last international break with 18 year old Boadu bagging on debut against Estonia.
AZ are in frightening form at both ends of the pitch. Amazingly they’ve kept clean sheets in 10 of their last 12 games which is an excellent base to build from, that includes each of their last 6. Every one of those have also seeen 3 or more goals and that makes the odds-against offering of 11/10 (Coral) on AZ to win and over 2.5 goals a worthy play.
Partizan Belgrade are the visitors and they’re not in the best of nick. The Crno-Beli have lost their last 3 away games against Manchester United, Cukaricki and Mladost Lucani. They do have to win here but if they come out I’m confident the hosts will counter with pace and precision and pick them off.
Wolfsberger vs Borussia Monchengladbach | Thursday 28th November 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport
Group J is fascinatingly poised with all 4 teams still harbouring genuine hopes of qualification. Wolfsberger follow this home tie with a trip to Italy to face Roma so it’s in their best interests to try and get a win here. Like fellow countrymen LASK Linz, the little known Austrian outfit have been attacking and adventurous, it’s refreshing to see.
Unfortunately for them, manager Gerhard Struber made the switch to Barnsley just the other week which is a blow. That being said, WAC will relish this home tie against current Bundesliga table toppers Borussia Monchengladbach. They’ve averaged a decent 13 shots per game and won the reverse leg, scoring thrice in Germany to shock the hosts.
Marco Rose has come in and done a sterling job with the Foals but defensively there still seems to be some issues. Rose is largely an attack minded coach so they make up for it with plenty of goals at the other end. Their expected goals average in the Bundesliga is at a mammoth 3.6 but their xG against is around 1.5 so I’d expect the home side to score here but also concede.
The 11/10 offering from SkyBet on both teams to score and over 2.5 goals therefore looks just the ticket here.