We are reaching crunch time in the group stage of the Europa League and Kevin Hatchard has four selections from matchday five …
“Eintracht have won the last three games and are finally taking on the ideas of their new coach. Antwerp was a big disappointment in this tournament and should be outclassed.”
It took a while for Eintracht Frankfurt to take the new coach Oliver Glasner got going, but finally they have developed momentum. The Eagles have won their last three games in all competitions and showed an impressive performance in the 2-0 victory in Freiburg last weekend.
In the Europa League, Eintracht dominates with ten points from the first four games and can secure the top spot and a place in the round of 16 if the result is positive. Glasner’s men have won the UEL three times in a row, knocking Olympiacos away in their last home game of the competition.
Antwerp have been very disappointing at this level this season and their limp surrender to the 3-0 home loss to Fenerbahce last time has pushed them towards European exit. In their first two UEL games they conceded late winners, including a 90 minute penalty in a 1-0 home defeat to Frankfurt.
Antwerp have lost five of their last ten games in all competitions, and I suspect that they will lose again here too. Five of Frankfurt’s six wins in all competitions resulted in less than four goals and we can combine a home win with a bet under 3.5 goals at 2,111 / 10 on sports betting. If Frankfurt scores early, they could try to save energy before a tough game against Union Berlin.
Fenerbahce put themselves back in the qualifying mix with the excellent 3-0 win in Belgium against Antwerp and won last time they won a 2-1 Istanbul derby at Galatasaray when Miguel Crespo scored a winner in the last second. Useful for our purposes, Fener have scored in 17 of their 19 competitive games this season.
Olympiakos beat the Turkish team 3-0 in the second leg but Fener has improved since then and Olympiakos have at home and away against Eintracht Frankfurt lost. Although the Greek giants dominate domestically, they are by no means sure of themselves in this competition.
I’m tempted to put up with the 1.84 / 5 Olympiakos price in the match odds market because it’s a little short in my opinion, but instead I will support both teams in order to to score at 1.84 / 5. That landed in six of Olympiakos’ last seven games and nine of Fener’s last eleven.
After Ferencvaros was repeatedly beaten in the Champions League last season, he had similar experiences in the Europa League this season. The home and away defeat to Celtic has resulted in them being completely eliminated from European competition, with two group matches remaining. They have leaked at least two goals in each of their four defeats in the UEL group stage, and against the Young Boys in the Champions League playoffs they conceded three home goals and three more in Switzerland.
Betis is fighting for the round of 16, needs but a win to catch Bayer Leverkusen at the top. They have scored at least three goals in six of their last eight wins in all competitions and we can help them easily score three or more goals.
Marseille has kept Jorge Sampaoli’s football in check since an exciting start to the season, and the first three UEL games of the group stage were a 1-1 draw and some goalless stalemates. After a 2-2 draw with Lazio, which l’OM left with four draws from four games, they now have to win to finish in the top two.
Galatasaray have eight points from their four games, and If they had held the lead in the 1-1 draw against Lokomotiv Moscow on matchday four, they would be in a very strong position. Their bad season at home has last worsened when they lost a dramatic home derby 2-1 to Fenerbahce and they have now won only one of their last five games in all competitions.
Marseille have the quality to win this and they have only lost twice all season. The abandonment of the game in Lyon at the weekend (Dmitri Payet was hit on the head with a water bottle) may have had a negative impact on them, but I expect Sampaoli to set up a strong line-up. Payet and Valentin Rongier are banned, but Arkadiusz Milik and Konrad de la Fuente should be there.
We can support Marseille Draw No Bet here at 1,845 / 6 which means that if there is a tie our stake is refunded but if Marseille wins we win.
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Back Eintracht Frankfurt wins and less than 3.5 goals at 2.111 / 10Back Both teams score at Fenerbahce – Olympiakos at 1.84 / 5Back Betis scores over 2.5 goals – Ferencvaros at 2.01 / 1back Marseille Tie No Bet – Galatasaray at 1,845 / 6
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