Europa League: Group Stage Finale
It’s the last knockings of the group stages tonight in the Europa League as teams vie for qualification to the knockout phase of the competition.
Teams finishing in the top two will be joined by the third-place finishers of the Champions League groups making up the 32 teams that will compete for the ultimate prize: a place in next season’s Champions League proper.
Let’s dive in!
Group A – 21:00 CET
Bayer Leverkusen and FC Zurich are already through to the next round, though, in which order is yet to be determined.
Bayer holds a one-point advantage over the Swiss side and are heavy favourites to beat AEK Larnaca on Thursday night.
If you think Bayer will slip up then there may be some value in backing Zurich (3.75) to capitalise on proceedings when they play Ludogorets.
Group B – 21:00 CET
This one is pretty straightforward: RB Salzburg are through as group winners, and Rosenborg are out!
This leaves Celtic, who play Salzburg in Scotland, and RB Leipzig, who also play at home to Rosenborg.
The German outfit hold the head-to-head advantage over the Scotts and sit just 3 points back from them.
Celtic need just a point to qualify, and we wouldn’t put it past them to get just that, so no double-dose of Red Bulls in the knockouts.
Group C – 21:00 CET
Quite a bit to play for here. First off, Zenit St Petersburg (11 points) are through as group winners. As for the rest, it’s anyone guess.
Slavia Prague (7 points) host the Russians in the Czech capital with a draw guaranteeing their progression, albeit on head-to-head.
Should they slip-up, that will open the door for both Copenhagen and Bordeaux, who play in the Danish capital on Thursday night.
Well played in advance if you manage to suss this one out!
(1X2 & Both teams to score)
was 5.00 – NOW 5.75
(1X2 & Total)
was 3.50 – NOW 3.80
Group D – 21:00 CET
This group is wrapped up tighter than Daniel Levy’s wallet during a transfer window. Dinamo Zagreb and Fenerbahce are through in first and second respectively, with Trnava and Anderlecht out!
You may find some value in the teams playing for pride given that the top two will almost certainly make a few changes.
Just make sure you wait for the starting lineups to come out first to see who’s being rested.
Group E – 21:00 CET
This is another group that is all done and dusted. Arsenal will go through as winners thanks to their 3-point lead and head-to-head advantage over Sporting Lisbon. Vorskla Poltava and Qarabag are out.
Arsenal host the Azerbaijani outfit in London, where you’ll get a “whopping” 1.25 for the home win.
Unai Emery will almost certainly give his youngsters a runout, though that didn’t stop them running away 3-0 winners when he did the same away to Vorskla in their last match.
Group F – 21:00 CET
We actually have a game worth watching in this group. First, though, the kipper: group leaders, Real Betis (11 points), travel to Luxembourg to play Dudelange. Dudelange have scored just three goals while shipping sixteen, and have zero points. So that’s that one sorted.
The game to watch, however, is AC Milan’s trip to Olympiacos. The Greek side, currently 3 points behind Milan, were well beaten in the reverse fixture in Italy, but did nab an away goal, which could prove costly for Gattuso’s side.
A 2-0 win for Olympiacos will be enough to send them through on the head-to-head rule and dump their opponents out of the competition.
Can the Greek’s get the job done?
(1X2 & Total)
was 4.50 – NOW 5.00
Group G – 18:55 CET
Finally! A group that is all to play for. Villarreal and Rapid Vienna currently sit on 7 points, with Rangers on 6 points and Spartak Moscow on 5.
Now, there’s a whole load of rocket science involved if we were to discuss draws and head-to-heads etc, so to keep it simple, the two teams that win tonight go through.
Expect all four teams to send out their strongest lineups and leave nothing out there.
If push came to shove, we’d probably have to favour Villarreal and Rangers to get the job done.
(1X2 & Both teams to score)
was 3.10 – NOW 3.40
(1X2 & Total)
was 3.90 – NOW 4.40
Group H – 18:55 CET
Eintracht Frankfurt have won all their games thus far and we, for one, are not going to put it past them to complete a perfect group stage showing.
Lazio, who play Eintracht, are also through in second place, irrespective of the result on Thursday night.
This just leaves Marseille and Apollon playing for pride. Enough said on this group!
Group I – 18:55 CET
Genk, Besiktas, Malmo and Sarpsborg sit on eight, seven, six and five points respectively.
Genk lost to Sarpsborg in the reverse fixture of Thursday’s match-up, meaning a win will see them leap-frog them in the table.
Malmo make the trip to Turkey to face Besiktas in the other game, and while we’d love to mount a case for the Swedes, we simply can’t. Those Besiktas fans in full swing are like a twelfth-man and they’ll be in full voice for this one.
So, can the Norwegians cause an upset, or will it be as-you-were come 21:00 on Thursday.
(First team to score & 1X2)
was 5.50 – NOW 6.50
(Double Chance & Total)
was 7.50 – NOW 8.50
Group J – 18:55 CET
A precarious situation here for the notorious Europa League winners: Sevilla sit in second place, level on points with Standard Liege in third, and play the groups leaders, Krasnodar. The remaining team in the group is Turkish side, Akhisarspor, but they are out having amassed a total of zero points.
Standard Liege will need a result in Turkey to stand any chance, but if form was anything to go by, you’d have to fancy the Spanish side to do the business in Seville and send the Belgians out.
Group K – 18:55 CET
This group seems pretty cut and dry for the most part. Leaders, Dynamo Kyiv, play Jablonec at home and shouldn’t cause the Ukrainian side too many problems.
FK Astana, currently in second place, travel to France for a second-place showdown with Rennes.
The Kazakh side have never reached the knockouts, both Champions League or Europa League (in its current format). A draw or better, and that record will be broken.
Group L – 18:55 CET
The last of the groups to feature see Chelsea going through as winners and PAOK going out. That leaves BATE and Vidi to battle it out for second place.
Vidi will most likely have Chelsea’s B-Team to contend with in Székesfehérvár on Thursday evening, which doesn’t exactly rule them out, while BATE travels to Greece to face PAOK.
Vidi have impressed in this tournament (for a club of their stature) and may be able to upset the odds depending on the strength of the team Maurizio Sarri puts out.
Wait for the starting lineups for this one: there may be some value in the Hungarian side.
That’s your Europa League round-up. Make sure you check out Rizk Insider for the latest Odds Boosts and insights at Rizk Sportsbook.