By News Team
21st October 2020
It’s the turn of Europe’s second-tier competition on Thursday as Arsenal, Spurs and Celtic get their Europa League campaigns underway. Here is our look ahead to their opening ties.
Arsenal to dominate in Austria?
On Thursday evening, Arsenal travel to the Allianz Stadion in Austria, to take on Rapid Wien in their opening Europa League fixture.
Arsenal have not had the greatest time in the Europa League in recent seasons after losing to Chelsea in the 2019 final and being knocked out by Olympiakos in the round of 32 last season. Despite that, the Gunners are the clear favourites at 4/7 against their Austrian hosts.
Although Arsenal have had a tough time within this competition, they have had a strong start to the season. The Gunners’ two defeats come against both Liverpool and most recently Manchester City on Saturday. With those two sides seemingly a way ahead of them in the league, the Europa League looks a potential source of silverware. They are the 7/1 co-favourites.
The battle of the European giants
Two European footballing giants go head to head on Thursday evening in one of the games of the round.
The only time Celtic and AC Milan have met in Europe has been in the Champions League with the most recent occurrence being in 2013 when AC Milan ran out 3-0 winners at Celtic Park. Both sides are coming off the back of their biggest derby fixtures into this game but in contrasting ways. Milan defeated Inter 2-1 on Saturday evening thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace whilst Celtic fell to a 2-0 defeat against Rangers. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently priced at 11/4 to score first or 19/20 to score anytime on Thursday evening.
Spurs to keep on firing?
Like Arsenal, Spurs will face an Austrian side in their opening Europa League fixture on Thursday evening as they take on LASK.
Spurs have had a long and drawn out battle to get into the Europa League group stages after being put into the competition at the second playoff round – which saw them scrape through by the skin of their teeth against Lokomotiv Plovdiv. They then ran out 3-1 winners against Shkëndija before overcoming Maccabi Haifa 7-2 in the final qualifying round. Spurs are clear favourites this time at a price of 3/10 whilst LASK are priced at 8/1 to cause a serious upset.
Spurs have scored the highest number of goals in the Premier League this season, averaging three goals a game. Goals look on the cards with over 2.5 priced at 1/2.