Europa League MD4 Prediction & Betting Tips


THE always-excellent  James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) shares his favourite fancies from Thursday's MD4 Europa League card.

Genk vs West Ham | Thursday 4th November 2021, 17:45 | BT Sport 

The Hammers will be hoping to maintain their 100% record in the Europa League as they head to Belgium. So far David Moyes’ men have played three, won three, scoring seven goals and shipping zilch in the process.

The latest victory came against Thursday’s opponents by a three goal margin, however, as the underlying data suggests, this scoreline flatters the Hammers. WHU generated an xG of just 1.18 that evening and conceded an xGA of 1.72.

Although West Ham have enjoyed a stellar week of football- ending Man City’s League Cup monopoly and beating rivals Spurs- I am not convinced they will make it four from four in this competition amidst a busy schedule with a relatively small squad. Therefore, I think opposing goals here is a nice way in, especially considering this is an angle that has landed in five of the visitors last seven games in all competitions. 10Bet have it priced at 4/5 . 

Brondby vs Rangers | Thursday 4th November 2021, 17:45 | BT Sport

Rangers laid down a marker in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday as they spanked Motherwell 1-6 in their own backyard. The Gers were 3-1 up before Stephen O’Donnell received a second yellow and the dynamic of the fixture really turned, however, their trip to Denmark is a different proposition and one I do not expect them to win so comfortably.

With Group A leaders Lyon breaking away, Brondby, Rangers and Sparta Prague have been left contesting one another for that all important second spot. The Gers currently sit in third on three points, one behind Sparta Prague in second and two ahead of Brondby in fourth.

In a crucial game in a tight group, I expect this game to be settled by fine margins which is why Rangers win by exactly one goal appeals here.

Last season, Gerrard’s side title was built on a solid defensive foundation epitomized by the fact that they only conceded an average of 0.30 goals per game. However, the Gers are only 12 games into this current domestic season and have already shipped more goals as they did in the entirety of last (11) in a third of the game time. Both teams have scored in 80% of their last nine league games and this is why I do not want to oppose goals here even though I expect it to be tight.

Over the past two seasons, 60% of Rangers UEL games have been settled by a goal or less. They have already shown they have too much quality for Thursday's opposition in the reverse fixture where they beat them 2-0. Bet365’s price of 11/4 for the visitors to win by one goal is the play here.

Bayer Leverkusen v Real Betis | Thursday 4th November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport 

Domestically, Bayer Leverkusen games have averaged 3.9 goals and their games in the UEL have not been shy of goal mouth action either as they have scored seven and conceded two in three games.

Over 2.5 goals and BTTS has landed in two of those three games, however, the underlying data suggests it should have been a full house with an xG of 3.54 generated in their most fixture with Real Betis.

Real Betis’ games have also seen their fair share of goals as their domestic fixtures have averaged 2.8 goals with this bet landing in two of their last three with a total of 15 goals being scored in that time.

Since their seven goal thriller with Celtic on MD1, five goals have been scored in two games with overs landing once and both teams scoring in both.

Marseille vs Lazio | Thursday 4th November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport

 At around 13/10 with Betfair, Marseille’s expected chance of victory- according to their odds- is 41%, however, Infogol has it at around 34%. Therefore, I think the hosts are worth getting against here.

Les Olympiens have endured a mixed start to their campaign. Domestically, they dwell in third, nine points of leaders PSG having only won two of their last seven Ligue One games and those victories came against two sides in the bottom third.

They have also stuttered in Europe, drawing all three of their UEL games. The xG data suggests they were unfortunate to do so in their matches vs Lokomotiv and Galatasaray as they generated an xG of 3.3 across the two fixtures but only scored once and shipped an xGA of 0.43 but conceded once. However, Lazio dominated them in their most recent game, and despite winning the xG battle by a difference of 1.18, the Italians could not break the deadlock.

That was not the first time the Eagles have failed to capitalise on strong performances, they were unfortunate to come away from nothing in their trip to Turkey on MD1 and could have scored twice as many as they did when they hosted Lokomotiv.

Granted, their quest for the Scudetto has been sporadic and unpredictable with victories over Roma, Inter Milan and Fiorentina sandwich amongst thrashing courtesy of Verona and Bologna.

With Serie A goals per game averages gradually increasing over recent seasons, catenaccio appears to be a thing of the past, nevertheless, I expect the Italians to get the job done here.

Leicester vs Spartak Moscow | Thursday 4th November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport

Goals seems the obvious play as Leicester welcome Spartak Moscow to the King Power on Thursday evening which is why I was surprised to see BTTS at even money.

The hosts' shortcomings in the defensive department have been well documented this season. Since their Community Shield victory over Manchester City in August, they have kept just two clean sheets in 15 games with Wolves and Millwall being the only sides that have failed to break them down in that period.

In that 15 game stretch, both teams to score has landed in two third of the games with 51 goals being scored in the process!

So as I said, goals seemed the obvious play here and getting even money for BTTS is too big especially considering that this game featured seven goals when these sides met last month.

Another angle I like in this fixture is a Maximiliano Caufriez card at 11/4 with Boylesports. For some reason Bet365 have not priced him up, I have requested it so it might be worth shopping around for the best price here as it might have changed at the time of reading.

Caufriez has a staggering record for cards, picking up 35Y and 6R in a career spanning just 120 appearances. Given his cards per 90 average (0.37) any price of 2/1 or more would represent value here for me. It also does not hurt that he should be directly opposing Harvey Barnes here.

Dinamo Zagreb vs Rapid Vienna | Thursday 4th November 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport 

I also like the look of Zagreb’s Mislav Orsic in the goalscorer market for this fixture. I am sure most avid UEL followers- or Spurs fans- will remember him from last campaign. He was the hero for Dinamo Zagreb as they stunned Spurs in the Round of 16 on the night that they overturned a 2-0 deficit and sent Jose Mourinho’s men packing.

Orsic bagged one of the best hat-tricks this competition has ever seen that evening. At 28/13 to score anytime on Thursday with SBK I think he is more than worthy of a punt to bag at the Stadion Maksimir. This is because, in the most simplest of terms, this price represents value as Orsic has a career goals per 90 average of 0.38 and by that logic his price should be around the 8/5 mark. It is worth noting he bagged in the reverse fixture recently which took his tally for the season to four goals in 12 starts.

Best Bets

Genk vs West Ham – Under 2.5 Goals (10Bet at 4/5)

Brondby vs Rangers – Rangers to Win by Exactly One Goal (Bet365 at 11/4)

Bayer Leverkusen vs Real Betis: Over 2.5 & BTTS (Bet365 at 5/6)

Marseille vs Lazio – Lazio +0.25 Asian Handicap (Betvictor at 10/11)

Leicester vs Spartak Moscow – Both Teams To Score (Quinnbet at 1/1)

Leicester vs Spartak Moscow – Maximiliano Caufriez Card (Boylesports at 11/4)

Dinamo Zagreb vs Rapid Vienna – Mislav Orsic Anytime (SBK at 28/13) 

About Author

My first bet, like most, was on the Grand National. However, I really got into betting when my dad used to go and get me and my brother the slips before home games on a Saturday. At the beginning we’d all pick one away team in a £3 three-fold but soon my brother and I were gathering all our shrapnel and creating the most ambitious accas you could imagine. Unbelievable, I won a 30/1 BTTS acca once. I remember when Birmingham pulled one back to win me the bet in the last seconds of the game, I must of been hooked from then on...

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