Europa League: Winner-takes-all in Gladbach

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THE Europa League group-stage concludes on Thursday. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) runs the rule over the best betting options in games not involving British interest.

Dynamo Kiev v Lugano | Thursday 12th December 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport

Group B has been an eminently forgettable one. The one big moment was the last-minute Markus Rosenberg winner for Malmo in Sweden against Dynamo Kiev, and that win has put the cat amongst the pigeons as three sides still harbour hopes of qualification on this, the final gameweek.

Kiev were ahead at one point a fortnight ago but a red card to Serhiy Sydorchuk meant they were hanging on to a 3-3 draw by the skin of their teeth before a glancing header from Malmo main man Rosenberg dramatically won it at the death, crushing Kiev hearts.

That all means that it is no longer in their hands, the Ukrainian outfit have to win at home to Lugano and hope Malmo fail to beat Copenhagen. It’s rare you get such a convoluted series of possible outcomes but given the high penchant for draws in this group it makes things a bit more complicated.

Anyway, Dynamo simply have to win and they should against already eliminated Lugano. The side from the scenic Swiss lakes have had a disappointing campaign domestically and haven’t faired better in this competition, failing to win a game yet. It would be a shock if they got a result here, particularly with nothing riding on it for them but pride.

Kiev are short enough at 2/9 but we can get some 10/11 (Coral) if we back the hosts to win and Under 3.5 Goals. It looks like one of those games where they will rest on their lead and try keep the ball, particularly if they go 2-0 up as all they can do is win and hope results go their way.

Goal difference counts for nothing here so expect a professional, ‘get the job done’ performance from the home side.

Getafe v Krasnodar | Thursday 12th December 2019, 17:55 | BT Sport

Let’s finish how we started eh?

In my first Europa League piece of the season we backed bad boys Getafe in the cards market and cleaned up. I’m a loyalist and I’m going back in on them again here in their final group game.

Geta know a draw will suffice for them as they welcome Krasnodar to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez and that may put off a few looking at the Spanish side at short 4/6 quotes.

Krasnodar, on the other hand, have to win – a draw would see them go level on points with their counterparts but because they lost the reverse leg in Russia they will lose the head-to-head battle and therefore not qualify.

So from the get-go Getafe have something to hold onto, and that’s something that won’t faze Jose Bordalas’ battle-hardened troops. Bordalas surely has to be seen as one of the top three coaches in La Liga in 2019 and no doubt clubs will be sniffing around the no-nonsense gaffer.

It’s not always the prettiest on the eye but it’s functional, aggressive and organised football that ultimately garners positive results. They’re used to playing without the ball and they’ll be happy to defend here.

In their efforts to keep opposition chances at a premium they tend to be physical in their approach and that in turn leads to a high volume of cards. To my memory, no team in Europe picked up more cautions that Getafe last season and it’s been a similar case this.

They’re averaging around 3.00 cards per-game in this competition and a mammoth 3.32 cards per-game in La Liga. They’ll share the fouls out and protect at all costs. I’m staggered we can get 5/2 (SkyBet) on them to collect the most Bookings Points here.

Krasnodar are a card-heavy team themselves and could pick up a few too but if the hosts keep the result in their favour I think they’ll be at liberty to foul/timewaste more often. The 1/2 on both teams 20+ booking points is fine acca material but it’s too short to put up as a single.

The 11/8 on Getafe to earn 30+ Bookings Points also appeals but I’m willing to chance the longer price in what should be a feisty game involving the kings of the dark arts.

Borussia Monchengladbach v Istanbul Basaksehir | Thursday 12th December 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport

There’s a huge game in Group J as two teams with the possibility of progression meet. Both Borussia Monchengladbach and Istanbul Basaksehir have a chance of going through.

The hosts know if they avoid defeat they’re through whereas the visitors have to win and overtake the Germans if they want to qualify. They can’t rely on the Roma vs Wolfsberger result so it’s all on this for them. They are a good side though, as they’ve shown in a tough group.

The recently formed capital club have experienced names among their ranks such as Gael Clichy, Mehmat Topal and Eljero Elia who know what it takes to play at this level. Edin Visca And Enzo Crivelli add a dangerous attacking threat to the side too. They’re in decent form at the moment and I’m not sure they should be as big as 8/1 here in a game they have to win.

Maybe they’re such long odds because of Monchengladbach’s excellent season thus far. The Foals top the Bundesliga tree as the Hinrunde approaches and recently made a mockery of 5/1 quotes on them to beat Bayern Munich, winning 2-1.

Former Salzburg manager Marco Rose is Doug a sterling job in North-Rhine Westphalia and deserves a lot of credit. Gladbach were a team in the European scene under Dieter Hecking and Lucien Favre but Rose has taken them to new heights. It’s a very well run club and they play attractive football to get their positive results.

I do fancy goals here and the 11/8 on Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals (SkyBet) looks too big, in my opinion. The Turkish side have to attack at some point but Gladbach are so swift on the break that they should score too.

I’m also willing to get involved with the card markets. Using BetVictor’s PriceItUp feature we can get a fair 3/4 on Both Teams Collecting Over 1 Card and that bet is made for scenarios like this. With one team holding on and the other needing the win, it’s pretty much a one-off game so there’s plenty of potential for cynical fouls, head-losses and time-wasting.

German sides aren’t usually known for their ill-discipline but Gladbach have been a dirty team in this tournament picking up an average of 3.00 cards per game. Basaksehir are averaging 2.00 cards per-game too. Chuck those stats in with the magnitude of the game and that 3/4 should probably be shorter.

Best Bets

Dynamo Kiev v Lugano – Dynamo Kiev to win and Under 3.5 Goals (10/11 Coral)

Getafe v Krasnodar – Getafe to earn the most Bookings Points (5/2 SkyBet)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Istanbul Basaksehir – Both Teams Over 1 Card (3/4 BetVictor)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Istanbul Basaksehir – Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals (11/8 SkyBet)

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