The Europa League knock-out stages gets going on Thursday night and we take a look at two of the live games from a betting perspective.
Ostersunds v Arsenal – click here to bet
Ostersunds finished 2nd in their group behind Atletico Bilbao on goal difference after 3 victories, 2 draws and a loss in their 6 starts. 5 of their 6 matches had 2 goals or less in them and they were undefeated at home winning 2 and drawing 1. Ostersunds are in good form domestically and are unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions.
Arsenal topped their group winning 4 games, drawing 1 and losing 1. Their games produced a wide range of goals with 3 of them delivering 4 goals or more and the other 3, one goal or less. They won 2 and lost 1 of their away matches in the group stages and domestically they have lost 2 of their last 3 matches in the League.
These sides have never met in a competitive football match.
Suggested bet: Handicap, Ostersunds (+1) at 53/20.
Arsenal have been in terrible form on the road domestically and looking at Ostersunds they are probably not as weak a side as the bookies are suggesting and I think they can, at the very least, hold Arsenal to a draw.
Celtic v Zenit – click here to bet
Celtic reached this stage of the Europa League courtesy of their 3rd place finish in the Champions League where they won 1 and lost 5 matches. Their home form was particularly poor and they lost all 3 games and only managed to score 1 goal in 3 matches. Celtic progressed in the Scottish FA Cup on the weekend and they have only lost 1 of their last 10 matches domestically.
Zenit finished top of their group with 5 wins in their 6 matches and they came through fairly comfortably, beating Real Sociedad into 2nd place by 4 points. The stat that jumps out about Zenit’s Europa form is that both teams have scored in their last 5 matches. Since the start of the year they have played a number of International Club friendlies, winning 5 of the 6 games and drawing 1.
These sides have never met in a competitive match.
Suggested bet: Over 2.5 goals at 8/10.
Zenit tend to be involved in high scoring affairs and Celtic are generally good for a goal or two at home but they also tend to concede
Click here for betting on all of the Europa League matches
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change