Europa League: Our best bets for British sides on Thursday
The Europa League begins properly on Thursday for another season. There are 48 teams in the group stage, but only two representatives from the United Kingdom.
Arsenal had to settle for Europa League football after finishing outside the top four in the Premier League for the first time in the Arsene Wenger era. Everton also qualified after finishing seventh.
No Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish side managed to make it through the play-offs.
Everton continue their European adventure away to Atalanta in Group E. Arsenal are at home to FC Koln in Group H.
Here are our top tips for both games:
Atalanta v Everton (18:00)
After spending over £130m this summer, much was expected of Everton this season. It’s still early but a top four spot looks a long way off at present.
The Toffees were totally outclassed by Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in their last two games – teams they aim to compete with for the Champions League places.
This could be another tough game against Atalanta. The Serie A side are favourites at 27/20. Everton are priced at 11/5 and the draw is 21/10.
However, it could be an ideal game for Sandro Ramirez. The summer signing hasn’t made an impact in the Premier league yet. He could be better suited to the slower pace of European football. You can get a Price Boost on Sandro Ramirez to score and Everton to win at 9/2 (was 7/2).
There aren’t likely to be too many goals in total here though. The two sides have only scored five goals between them in league action this season.
Think Atalanta will edge this one? Go for Atalanta and Under 2.5 Goals at 7/2.
Arsenal v Koln (20:05)
Arsenal are likely to rotate ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea but they should still be too strong for Koln. The German side are bottom of the Bundesliga after failing to pick up a point from three games.
Olivier Giroud is in line to make his first start of the season for the Gunners. The France international only needs one more goal to get his century for Arsenal. He’s 14/5 to be First Goalscorer.
Arsenal aren’t especially convincing at the back even at full strength. However, Koln have only scored one league goal and aren’t likely to pose too many problems. Back Arsenal to Win To Nil at 6/4.
As well as Giroud, the likes of Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi will be looking to impress to play more regularly. Alexis Sanchez could also feature to gain match fitness.
Koln could struggle to handle them if they’re in the mood. Arsenal and Over 2.5 Goals is priced at 11/10.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of publication