Benfica vs Rangers | Thursday 5th November 2020, 17:55 | BT Sport
Surprisingly, Benfica gave up their 100% start domestically, when they got a bit of a doing on Monday night, losing 3-0 away to Boavista in the Primeira Liga. Rangers on the other hand went nine points clear in the Premiership at the weekend, with a narrow 1-0 at Kilmarnock.
Both these sides already look a good thing to qualify, with 6/6 points in this Europa League Group D. Lech Poznan and Standard Liege will do well to turn things round from a nil point return in the section thus far.
This undoubtedly will be Rangers toughest task since they played Leverkusen in last seasons delayed competition. With Steven Gerrard's side defending so well recently, maybe they are tackling Benfica (after their little setback) at a good time, so the draw at 11/4 with Bet365 is perfectly feasible in what should be a tight match-up.
Another angle I like, is the possibility of a penalty being awarded. Spanish referee Jesus Gil has pointed to the spot in 5/8 of his recent matches. With this in mind, I’m quite happy to back prolific penalty scorer’s Pizzi (13/2 Betway), and James Tavernier(14/1 Betfred) to score first in this encounter.
Celtic vs Sparta Prague | Thursday 5th November 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Celtic have got things back on track a bit in the last couple of games, firstly securing a 2-2 draw away to Lille, and then reaching the belated 19/20 Scottish Cup final, with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Hampden.
Sparta whilst doing well enough domestically, with maximum points so far, six games in, in the Czech 1 Liga, have found the Europa League Group H a lot tougher an assignment thus far. They have been well beaten by Lille 4-2 at home in the Letna Stadium, then last week they lost 3-0 in the San Siro to Milan.
It's fair to say Neil Lennon and Celtic will fancy their chances of gaining their first win in the group. With this in mind, I like Celtic to score Over 1.5 First -Half Goals which is a nice price at 11/4 with William Hill. The Hoops started fast in both of their last two matches, being 2-0 ahead in Lille by the 32nd minute, and likewise by the 23rd minute against the Dons.
A similar fast start could be on the cards with either Ryan Christie (2 goals in last 3 games) or Mohamed Elyounoussi (4 goals in last 4 matches) perhaps netting first.
Benfica vs Rangers – Draw (11/4 Bet365)
Benfica vs Rangers – Pizzi first goalscorer (13/2 Betway)
Benfica vs Rangers – James Tavernier first goalscorer (14/1 Betfred)
Celtic vs Sparta Prague – Celtic Over 1.5 First-Half Goals (11/4 William Hill)
Celtic vs Sparta Prague – Ryan Christie first goalscorer (11/2 Unibet)
Celtic vs Sparta Prague – Mohamed Elyounoussi first goalscorer (7/1 Bet365)