Europa League: Round Four Preview

Two soccer players compete for ball in misty stadium

We preview each and every one of this week's Europa League fixtures, all of which kick off on Thursday 2 November. 

We thought that we’d take a different route this week when it comes to the Europa League. Instead of previewing three or four feature games, we’ll give a quick-fire tip on each and every matchday four fixture!

Most of the big boys are doing quite well in their groups. However, the likes of big spending Everton, FC Koln, Athletic Bilbao and Hertha Berlin are all in real danger of failing to make it to the next round of the competition.

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Lokomotiv Moscow 11/20 | Draw 28/10 | Sheriff 52/10
Lokomotiv are having a blinder of a season thus far topping both Group F in the Europa League as well as the Russian Premier League. They weren’t able to defeat their Moldovan opposition last time out, drawing 1-1 away from home. They should, however, have no problem turning them over in Russia and look good value to do so at 11/20.

AEK Athens 43/20 | Draw 43/20 | AC Milan 13/10
The two undefeated sides in Group D are up next as AC Milan travel to Greece to face AEK Athens. They played out to a goalless draw in Italy last time out with Milan losing at home against Juventus at the weekend, while AEK grabbed a 1-0 away win at Panionios to keep the pressure on Atromitos and PAOK at the top of the standings. Milan are definitely the better side here. Add to this, they played pretty well against Juventus who only beat them thanks to two excellent strikes from Gonzalo Higuain. Back the away win at 13/10.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv 11/10 | Draw 9/4 | Astana 49/20
Tel-Aviv were positively spanked last time out by Astana, going down 4-0 in Kazakhstan. The Israelis are also yet to register a win in this season’s competition, and can’t afford another defeat if they want to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive. Astana would be the team to back here. Tel-Aviv – for all of their domestic success – have looked well off colour in continental competition.  

Istanbul Basaksehir 2/1 | Draw 26/10 | Hoffenheim 11/10
The Turks haven’t had the ideal start to their second campaign in the Europa League, sitting on a point after three games. They now welcome Hoffenheim to the Faith Terim Stadium, hoping against hope to overturn the Germans. Hoffenheim will be pretty confident despite losing two matches in the group already. They’ve only won once in their last seven in all competition, and that win came against the Turks. Back Hoffenheim to outclass them again this Thursday. 

Young Boys 27/20 | Draw 5/2 | Dynamo Kyiv 18/10
We head to Switzerland next, where Young Boys will need to grab all three points if they are to keep pace with Ukrainian opponents at the summit of Group B. While undefeated, Young Boys haven’t been good enough, drawing all three of their matches. By contrast, Dynamo have won two and drawn once. All of the matches these sides have been involved in have seen both teams score. Follow the trend at 11/10.

Lyon 5/10 | Draw 32/10 | Everton 5/1
A rather foul tempered affair at Goodison last time out saw Lyon run out 2-1 winners. The show was, however, stolen by a toddler-wielding Everton fan who aimed a punch or two at the Lyon players. Everton have been awful, both domestically and in European competition this season, take the French side to win here with confidence at 5/10. 

Ludogorets 1/1 | Draw 9/4 | Braga 11/4
Ludogorets have been excellent in European competition this season and currently top Group C with two wins and a draw, having only conceded once. They go toe to toe with Braga of Portugal whose only loss in the competition this term came at the hands of the Bulgarians in Portugal. Braga are a good side, however, Ludogorets come into this tie with momentum and are tipped to all but secure qualification with another win. 

Apollon Limassol 38/10 | Draw 28/10 | Atalanta 13/20
The Cypriots have it all to do against the Italians who have claimed two wins and a draw. Atalanta just need to win on Thursday evening to secure passage into the next round, something they’re tipped to do pretty comfortably against the Cypriot minnows. Take Atalanta on the (-1) cap at 33/20.

Slavia Praha 2/1 | Draw 9/4 | Villarreal 13/10
Two teams who seem to qualify for the tournament perennially without ever coming close to winning it will square off on Thursday. Slavia Praha and Villarreal are currently in control of Group A on five points with Astana breathing down their necks a further point behind. The sides played out to a 2-2 draw last time out and you’ll struggle to separate them again. On the side of caution, take the away team on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 9/20.

Rijeka 9/20 | Draw 7/2 | Austria Wien 57/10
Both Rijeka and Austria Wien are fighting for their lives three games into the group stages. Fortunately for the hosts, they have managed a win thus far and remain in touch with AEK in second. Things aren’t looking so hot for the Austrians who sit rock bottom of Group D with a point. They were soundly beaten at home last time by the Croatians, a result I don’t see them reversing in front of what will be an extremely hostile crowd. Home win all day at 9/20.

Kobenhavn 4/10 | Draw 36/10 | Zlin 13/2
All four teams in Group F are very much in contention for top spot as it stands. With Lokomotiv likely to beat Sheriff in the other match, it’s up to Kobenhavn to keep the pressure on the Russians. They should be able to do just that in front of their home fans against the Czechs, who have very little European pedigree to speak of. Home win is the way to go here. 

Partizan 5/10 | Draw 3/1 | Sk├źnderbeu 11/2
We head to Serbia next where Partizan Belgrade go head to head against Sk├źnderbeu of Albania. While probably not televised in South Africa, this would have been an interesting one to watch due to the political issues in the region. We all know what happened during that Euro Qualifier in 2014. All that said, back Partizan to get the job done here, assuming of course the game isn’t abandoned.

Real Sociedad 1/12 | Draw 17/2 | FK Vardar 25/1
Nice and simple here, Vardar have absolutely no chance. Back the Spaniards on the (-1) at 1/4.

Vitoria 33/10 | Draw 26/10 | Marseille 15/20
Vitoria may well struggle tonight against a Marseille outfit who seem to be finding their feet both domestically and in Europe. The Portuguese side – who were defeated by this week’s opponents during the last round – will need a massive performance at home if they’re to add to their solitary point. Back the French giants here at 15/20.

Lazio 11/20 | Draw 32/10 | Nice 17/4
This is another one we don’t need to look at too hard. Lazio have been in scintillating form both in Italy and in Europe. Nice, on the other hand, have been decent in Europe but have lost five straight games on the domestic front. The Italians should win comfortably here at 11/20.

Steaua Bucuresti 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Hapoel Beer-Sheva 3/1
Despite starting their campaign well with a 2-1 over Lugano, Beer-Sheva have gone on to lose their next two matches to Viktoria Plzen and Thursday’s opposition. Steaua on the other hand, have plenty of Champions League experience and it’s showed this term. They’ve won all three of their games and are tipped to grab yet another win on Thursday. 

Athletic Bilbao 7/20 | Draw 36/10 | Ostersund 7/1
The pricing here is pretty strange considering how these two teams have fared in the Europa League this season. Bilbao sit second bottom of Group J on two points while Ostersund top the group with two wins and a draw. Bilbao are rightly favourites, but I wouldn’t rule out the Swedes springing a surprise. Back the away side on the Win/Draw at 37/20.

Arsenal 3/10 | Draw 17/4 | Red Star Belgrade 7/1
Short and sweet, Arsenal will be far too strong at home for Red Star and should be backed on the (-1) handicap at 8/10.

Rosenborg 29/10| Draw 5/2 | Zenit 9/10
Zenit have been on fire this season in the Europa League with three wins out of three. They’ve scored nine and conceded two on their way to the top of Group L. They’ll make the trip to Norway to where a win will seal their passage into the next round. Zenit have been untouchable in this competition and should be added to all midweek multiples at 9/10. 

Red Bull Salzburg 1/4 | Draw 9/2 | Konyaspor 19/2
Another one we can keep fairly short. Red Bull Salzburg have been in fine form this season, even defeating Thursday’s opposition in Turkey without much fuss. They’ll be back in front of their home fans again this week and should find very little resistance from a very average side. Home win here at 1/4. 

FC Koln 15/20 | Draw 26/10 | BATE Borisov 7/2 
FC Koln have been one of the more disappointing sides in the Europa League this season. They’re one of only two teams to have lost all three of their games in the competition – the other being the mighty Varder Skopje. They should, however, have enough to get past BATE… surely? The Belarussians are nothing special in the context of this tournament and should prove to be fodder for teams from the bigger leagues. I’d avoid this one if possible, but if forced to have a bet I’d back the Germans. 

Viktoria Plezen 9/20 | Draw 7/2 | Lugano 47/10 
Both of these sides have pretty much identical records in the competition, with Viktoria ahead of the Swiss side in Group G on goal difference. With Steaua Bucharest clear at the top, both of these sides will go hammer and nail in order to secure three points. An open, attacking game is expected with over 2.5 goals expected at 5/10.  

Hertha Berlin 13/20 | Draw 26/10 | Zorya 17/4 
Zorya actually managed to beat Hertha at home following an excellent away win at Athletic Bilbao. The Ukrainians are punching well above their weight and will look to make it two wins in a row against the underperforming Germans. I’m going to have to go with the away win here at 17/4. 

Vitesse 8/10 | Draw 26/10 | Zulte Waregem 29/10 
Neither of these two teams stand much of a chance of going through to the next round with Nice and Lazio firmly in control of Group K. We can, therefore, expect weakened sides with both teams needing to pick up their domestic form. The draw looks quite likely here, 26/10 is a great price. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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