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Europa League Tips – 16th September

This year, the Europa League has been slimmed down somewhat. Instead of 48 teams in 12 groups in the group stage, we have 32 teams across eight groups, with other teams now qualifying for the new Europa Conference League, which also takes place on Thursday nights.

What this means is that all three European competitions have the same sized group stage and can have the same knockout phase matches, which means no more elongated Round of 16 in the Champions League nor the Round of 32 in the Europa League, which makes everything much easier to follow.

It also means that the quality of the Europa League this year is much more competitive and there are some very good teams in the competition, many who you would ordinarily expect to see playing in the Champions League, competing against each other in this tournament, even in the group stage.

British teams are well represented with Celtic and Rangers joined by West Ham and Leicester City, although none of these teams have what you would call an easy start in the competition.

This competition now looks much more like the old UEFA Cup used to look, perhaps not having the quality of the Champions League, but still a very tough tournament to win with a mix of established and emerging teams competing.

Anyway, Matchday One kicks off on Thursday (apart from the Spartak Moscow v Legia Warsaw game which is being played Wednesday at 3.30pm UK Time), so we have picked from the 15 games on Thursday to come up with our first Europa League acca of the season.

This competition has been kind to us in the past. Let’s hope it is this year!

Europa League Tips – 16th September

    • 5:45
    • Dinamo Zagreb v West Ham - Draw
    • 5:45
    • Real Betis v Celtic - Home Win
    • 8:00
    • Leicester City v Napoli - Draw
    • 8:00
    • Rangers v Lyon - Home Win
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Bet Analysis: Thursday 16th September

Dinamo Zagreb v West Ham – Draw

Dinamo Zagreb were the team that ended Tottenham’s interest in this competition last season when their striker Orsic netted a hat-trick in their home game to beat Spurs 3-2 on aggregate. West Ham will be well aware of his attributes but I think David Moyes men have shown over the end of last season and the start of this that they have the mettle to cope with most things. Declan Rice is dominating the games in midfield and with Michail Antonio in great goalscoring form, and the Hammers defence looking strong, I think they have all they need to earn a point from this tricky trip.

Real Betis v Celtic – Home Win

It is fair to say that while Celtic dominated Scottish football for a long period, they were always found out when it came to games in European football. As such, this trip to Seville to take on a Betis side that have not enjoyed the best start to the season is a real acid test for them. Celtic have scored lots of goals this season in the SPL but have also lost two games. That tells me that they can be caught out by teams on the break and I think that is precisely what Betis will be looking to do, keep things tight and hit on the break. As such, I think the Spanish side will have some joy here and probably take the win.

Leicester City v Napoli – Draw

The Foxes get their latest Europa League campaign underway against one of the top teams in this competition, Napoli. The Italian side beat Juventus at the weekend to warm up for this game, while Leicester City lost at home to Manchester City. Napoli have shown time and time again in Europe that they are a very difficult side to beat on the road and I think Leicester City are going to find that out here. I can’t quite see the Foxes losing this game, but I do feel Napoli are good enough to get a point.

Rangers v Lyon – Home Win

I was very impressed with how well Rangers played on the road last season in Europe and they also produced some good performances at home too. Certainly of the two Scottish teams in this tournament, I felt Steven Gerrard’s men were more adaptable to this level of competition. Lyon are a quality outfit, though perhaps not quite as strong as some of the sides they have had over the years, but they will give Rangers a stern test at home. However with a full Ibrox behind them, I feel Rangers can get the job done here.

Dean Wyatt

Author: Dean Wyatt

Dean Wyatt is the founder and editor here at Acca Nation. He’s been betting sports for over 20 years and is a profitable sports trader on the exchanges.

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