Rangers v Porto
It promises to be another big night at Ibrox as Rangers hope to carry on their strong start to life back in Europe. It’s a very tight group with just three points separating all four teams and each of them have at least one win under their belt so far. It really does seem like one that could go to the final matchday and with a trip to Rotterdam and a home clash vs Young Boys left for the Teddy Bears they may see a point here as a good result.
Alfredo Morelos was the man who grabbed a vital goal at the Estadio Do Dragao but an earlier Luis Diaz strike meant the shares were spoiled. It was a completely fair result though with nothing between the two in terms of xG and chance creation. Ryan Kent was excellent in the build up to that goal but the pressure may be on the Gers here to do most of the attacking and not have the opportunity to play on the break.
I get the feeling like this could be like a chess game and possibly a low scoring encounter. Under Steven Gerrard, the Glasgow side look to be solid defensively first and foremost. We saw that in their qualifying game to Legia Warsaw and then another 1-0 followed on matchday 1 over Feyenoord. They have the quality to thrash teams in the SPFL but the Europa League is a different kettle of fish and Gerrard knows that greater respect has to be given to the opposition.
Under 2.5 goals looks generous at 2.000, I expected this to be a 2.25 line so I have to get involved with the straight 2.5 here and oppose a high scorer. Porto aren’t the most prolific side, 7 of their last 9 games have seen fewer than 3 goals and they’ve only notched twice or more in 2 of their last 8.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.50 goals at 2.000
Wolves v Slovan Bratislava
Wolverhampton Wanderers came from behind to win in Slovakia two weeks ago and have a good chance to record a win as they welcome Slovan Bratislava to Molineux. There’s a clear gulf in quality between the two here I feel and the Old Gold look like they’re giving time and attention to this competition unlike so English sides.
Nuno’s men lost on opening day to Braga despite generating double the amount of xG than their counterparts, however since then they’ve recorded back-to-back victories away from home and in the Premier league they’ve started to motor after a relatively slow start. They’ve lost just once in their last ten games in all competitions, the only defeat came in the league cup where they played half a dozen youth teamers.
Ownership group FOSUN have made no secret of their desire to get the club on the European scene and they could go seriously far given the quality of their squad with Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota and the threat of Adama Traore. They’ll be fine in the domestic league so they should give this competition a real go and I sincerely hope they do.
I fancy them here and we can back the hosts with a -1.25 start on the asian handicap at 1.940 and they should have too much quality for this Slovan side if they play to their optimum.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Wolves -1.25 at 1.940
Borussia Monchengladbach v Roma
Possibly the game of the night takes place in North-Rhine Westphalia as Roma travel to Borussia Park to take on 1979 champions Monchengladbach.
The Foals have had an excellent campaign thus far under former Salzburg manager Marco Rose. They sit top of the tree in the Bundesliga with an impressive 22 points from their opening 10 games and Rose is further enhancing his reputation as one of the best young coaches in the world. He tends to operate in a 5-3-2 formation but it’s a very fluid one and it really does make it hard for opposition to stay touch tight to them.
Strikers Patrick Hermann, Alessandre Plea and Marcus Thuram don’t mind drifting out wide to create space for each other and their selfless running can allow the extra man in the middle of the park to burst into the box, whether that be Lars Stindl or Florian Nehaus. Their pace up front means they can play on the shoulder effectively too and it’s perfect for Rose’s ethos of fast-paced, direct attacking.
Given their impressive form many will be looking at the hosts at 2.100 and be tempted in, however they’ve lost 1 and drew 2 so far in their Europa League campaign and one of those points came in this reverse fixture courtesy of a last minute penalty that was inexplicably given by Scottish referee Willy Collum for a Chris Smalling handball that never was. There are also doubts over Plea, Breel Embolo, Ramy Bensebaini and Fabian Johnson.
That been said, Roma aren’t without their own injury concerns. Centre half Gianluca Mancini has been filling in in holding midfield with Amadou Diawara, Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini all ruled out. It’s a good job head coach Paulo Fonseca has a squad with decent depth, Nicola Zaniolo has returned to form recently and Turkish youngster Cengiz Under is back after a long term injury, he will add some more craft going forward.
I think even with injuries, these two sides have greater strengths going forward than they do at the back and given Gladbach need to get a win here to give themselves a decent chance of qualification then I’m happy to take over 2.75 goals at 1.830. 7/10 Gladbach games have seen this bet profit including each of their last 3. What’s more, the Foals have smashed in 11 goals in their last 3 home fixtures. Roma have also seen this bet profit in their last 3 games, the Giallorossi have bagged in all but one away game so far this season so we should see goals at both ends.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.830
Preview by: @TomLove_18
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