Europa League Tips: Tough Trips For West Ham, Celtic and Lazio
There is an incredible 29 games across the Europa League and Europa Conference League on Thursday night and LB picks out his best bets.
There is a ton of action on Thursday but I’ve decided to keep it simple and just focus on the teams I know. I’m sure we will see some betslips on Twitter (afterwards of course) of lads getting a 10 or 15 leg accumulator up but I’m going for just three bets that look overpriced.
Dinamo Zagreb v West Ham Thurs 16 Sept 17:45 BST
West Ham are 5/4 favourites away to Dinamo Zagreb and that just makes no sense. The perennial Croatian champions have one of the best home records in Europe and I don’t see how the Hammers can win this one. I have a soft spot for the East Londoners and I hope their first European tour in decades goes well and lasts beyond Christmas. I just can’t see how it gets off to a winning start in Zagreb.
Dinamo have only lost twice in their last 20 European home games. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City Globetrotters and Unai Emery’s unbeaten Villarreal are the only foreign teams to have won in Zagreb in over three years. Spurs, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsburg, Benfica, Feyenoord and Atalanta have all fallen victim to the intimidating Stadion Maksimir atmosphere – and no disrespect to the Hammers, none of those teams were objectively worse than this current West Ham side.
My head says a home win but I am surprised to see the draw priced significantly higher (12/5 vs 21/10). West Ham have become incredibly resilient under Moyes and a draw would suit both sides here. If the score is level late on this one could fade out. Maybe I’m chasing the juice or slightly biased towards West Ham but I’ll take the draw.
Real Betis v Celtic Thurs 16 Sept 17:45 BST
Another price that makes little sense to me is Celtic at 4/1. They travel to Betis on Thursday and I’m surprised to see the Spaniards odds-on. Betis have only played four games this season (W1 D2 L1), only managing their first win on Monday night. The Hoops on the other hand have played 12 competitive games and will be much sharper than their hosts. Celtic looked improved in their recent loss at Ibrox and will have learned a lot from two difficult European trips already this season (AZ Alkmaar and Midtjylland).
Most continental leagues tinker with the domestic schedule to aid their clubs in the Champions League or Europa League. Bizarrely, the La Liga organisers are giving Betis no help whatsoever and made El Glorioso travel to Grenada on Monday night, giving them less than 72 hours to prepare for Celtic. The Glaswegians, on the other hand, played Saturday morning and will have 3 extra days to prepare.
These two clubs share a remarkable history and I do not expect an easy night at the office for Celtic. That being said, they look overpriced and their experience could play a big part here. I think they will catch Betis off guard.
Lazio, Galatasaray, Marseille and Lokomotiv Moscow in Group E. Wow.
Atmosphere will be unreal.
— LB (@BetAlongLB) August 27, 2021
Galatasaray v Lazio Thurs 16 Sept 17:45 BST
Lazio travel to Istanbul and we can expect fireworks both on and off the pitch. These clubs have two of the most passionate fan bases around and I just hope that travel restrictions do not dampen the atmosphere at all.
Lazio are playing an open, exciting brand of football under Maurizio Sarri and I must admit I’m surprised at how quickly the squad has adapted to his style. Our Serie A expert Enzo is optimistic for the Aquilotti this season and with 9 goals in 3 games so far I can see why.
Galatasaray are unbeaten this term and will be a tough test for Lazio. The Italians are 19/20 but that’s a bit narrow for my liking. Instead I’ll focus on goals. I’m a big fan of the bet365 market of Over 2.5 goals and BTTS. It has happened in Galatasaray’s last five games and is priced up at Evens here. Lazio undoubtedly have more talent but home advantage is huge in the Ali Sami Yen Stadium.
Dynamo Zagreb v West Ham – Draw @ 12/5
Celtic Double Chance (win or draw) @ 11/10
Celtic to Win @ 4/1
Galatasaray v Lazio – Over 2.5 Goals & BTTS @ 1/1