Lugano v Malmo
Should Lugano get a much needed win here then Group B could be one that goes right down to the wire. The team from the picturesque Swiss-Italian border did extremely well to get to this stage in the first place but their domestic season has been extremely underwhelming thus far with an average of just a point a game after 13 rounds of the Super League.
They have just a single point to their name so far in the UEL but the other three teams are in chasing distance, quite a lot of draws in this group means it’s still relatively tight and there’s everything to play for. The visit of Malmo probably presents the greatest chance of a win for Maurizio Jacobacci’s side, they’ll be hoping that the Swede’s will be low on confidence after just missing out on the Allsvenskan title by a single point at the weekend.
The reverse fixture in Sweden ended in a 2-1 win for the hosts and they smashed in 5 at Orebro this weekend just gone. I think with Lugano needing a win here and Malmo in decent scoring form, the goal line looks quite generous and I’ll gladly gobble up the 1.810 on over 2 asian goals. Backing this selection would only see us lose should 0 or 1 goals be scored, we have the insurance of money back should exactly 2 be scored and we get a winner should any more be netted.
If you’d have backed this bet in Malmo games you’ll have lost money just twice in their last nine, it would’ve paid out in four of the last five Lugano games too. However, it’s more of the case of group dynamics and if Malmo do score then Lugano simply have to come out and have a go.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.00 goals at 1.810
LASK Linz v PSV
One of the most surprising results of matchday 3 was the goalless draw between these two in a game that promised to be goals galore. The emission of PSV top scorer Donyell Malen may have been a contributing factor but the Eindhoven-based club will have been disappointed that none of their six shots on target hit the back of the net.
That been said, the Dutch outfit still top the group on 7 points and they can all but confirm qualification to the knockout stages with a win in Austria on Thursday evening. They can then switch their focus on catching up to Ajax in the Eredivisie but it’s hard to back the Boeren on current form. AZ Alkmaar’s young crop battered them 4-0 on their own park and that came after a damaging 3-0 defeat at Utrecht in the league. This weekend they could only muster a point in a 2-2 draw at Sparta Rotterdam in a game they were expected to win.
LASK Linz are currently third on 4 points and still harbour realistic hopes for qualification. They know that at least a point here will see their matchday 6 showdown with Sporting Lisbon be meaningful should they beat Rosenborg in a fortnight. They did superbly last season under now-Wolfsburg boss Oliver Glasner to finish 2nd in the Austrian Bundesliga by a 20 point margin. They’ve kept the same high intensity, attacking style of play and they always pose a threat, just ask Sporting who faced a barrage of attempts from LASK a few weeks ago.
I’m happy to once again go with goals here, another 0-0 would be a major surprise given the attacking potency of both sides. Defensively PSV have looked all over the place of late but still have dangerous forwards in Afelley, Ihattaren, Roan and Bruma. We can back over 2.5 goals at 1.870 and that makes appeal.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.870
Lazio v Celtic
The roof came off Celtic Park when French centre-half Christopher Julien headed in a late winner for the Bhoys a fortnight ago. It was a well matched, entertaining game with just 0.05 expected goals between the two and I anticipate another one as the Scottish giants travel to Rome.
With home advantage it’s no surprise to see Le Aquile as 1.600 favourites but I think Celtic can be a threat on the break with Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard and I’m expecting them to score against a less than convincing home backline. Lazio have seen over 2.5 goals cop in each of their last eight fixtures in all competitions and I’m keen on that record being extended to nine at 1.760.
Simone Inzaghi has seen his side concede in six of their last seven but their well stacked attack are making up for that as they’ve bagged two or more in seven of their last eight. Ciro Immobile is back to his best, the Italian international has notched 10 in his last 8 and when he’s on song the Biancocelesti usually are too. They’ve bounced back from that defeat in Glasgow with three consecutive wins against potentially tricky opponents especially coming home victorious from visits to San Siro and the Artemo Franchi against Milan and Fiorentina respectively.
Their games in Serie A are averaging 3.2 goals per game and that pretty much tallies with the underlying xG data too. They’re seeing an average of 3 goals per game too in the Europa League. After a surprise 2-1 defeat in Romania against Cluj, Lazio have it all to do to get out the group and will not doubt go for the win here. That could leave them exposed at the other end and all things considered the over 2.5 line should be beaten here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.760
Preview by: TomLove_18