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Europa League Betting: Desperate duo playing catch-up

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Wolves have made it to the group stage, but can they progress?
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Both Besiktas and Wolves lost on Matchday One, and Kevin Hatchard believes they'll both have to push for a win...

"Wolves are making uncharacteristic defensive errors, while Besiktas are leaking goals left, right and centre."

Back Over 2.5 Goals in Besiktas v Wolves at [1.93]

Prepare for a Turkish treat

Besiktas v Wolves
Thursday 03 October, 17:55
Live on BT Sport ESPN

Neither Besiktas nor Wolves can truly say they are enjoying life at the moment. Wolves have been suffering from a case of second-season syndrome, while Besiktas are really struggling under new coach Abdullah Avci.

Besiktas collapsed late on to lose 4-2 at Slovan Bratislava on Matchday One, while Wolves missed chances in a 1-0 home defeat to Braga. Besiktas are remarkably in the Turkish Super Lig's relegation zone, while Wolves have only just picked up their first win of the league season.

I don't think I could truly trust either team in the Match Odds market, so instead I'll go for Over 2.5 Goals here at [1.93]. Besiktas have leaked an eye-watering 12 goals in their last four matches, while Wolves have been making uncharacteristic defensive errors, and have conceded 11 times in seven Premier League matches.

Slovan to stay in the hunt

Braga v Slovan Bratislava
Thursday October 03, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

Braga pulled off something of a smash-and-grab raid at Wolves on Matchday One. They hadn't really posed much of a threat until they were gifted the ball by Ryan Bennett in the 71st minute, an error that was brutally punished by Ricardo Horta's fierce strike.

That victory provided a high point in what has been a difficult season so far. The Archbishops are a lowly 11th in the Primeira Liga after a start to the campaign that has seen them collect just eight points from the first seven games. They have been particularly disappointing recently at the spectacular Estadio Municipal (that's the award-winning stadium cut out of a quarry) as they have lost 4-0 to Benfica and drawn 2-2 with Maritimo in their last two games there.

Slovan Bratislava caught the eye by knocking Greek champions PAOK out of the Europa League at the qualifying stage, and they are top of the Slovakian league, with 25 points collected from ten games. They kicked off the group stage with a superb 4-2 win over Besiktas, scoring twice in the dying embers of the game to secure a famous victory.

Braga are not the team they were, and I think Slovan can push them close here. I'll give Slovan a goal-and-a-half start on the Asian Handicap.

Hardy Wolves can secure a result

Saint Etienne v Wolfsburg
Thursday 03 October, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

These are difficult times for Saint Etienne. Last season's surprise package have been lost without the assured guidance of the departed Jean-Louis Gasset, and his replacement Ghislain Printant has floundered. Printant appears to be running out of time - he has been asked to resign by the club, but has refused to do so.

ASSE won 1-0 at Nimes at the weekend, but they have lost three of their last four matches, including a 3-2 defeat at Gent to kick off the group stage of this competition. They are yet to win a home game this term.

Conversely, Wolfsburg are flying under their new boss Oliver Glasner. The Austrian was left a very solid foundation by his predecessor Bruno Labbadia, and Die Wolfe remain unbeaten. They started this competition with a 3-1 win over Oleksandria, and in all competitions they have won three of their four away games.

I'll back the German side Draw No Bet at [1.85].

Austrians to return to Earth with a bump

Wolfsberger v Roma
Thursday 03 October, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

Wolfsberger picked up the greatest result in their history on Matchday One, as they stormed to a 4-0 victory at German giants Borussia Monchengladbach. While it was a truly dreadful performance by the Foals, you have to give Wolfsberger credit for the way they exploited every mistake.

However, as they play their first "home" game in the competition (the game will be staged in Graz, as Wolfsberger's stadium doesn't meet the standards and the alternative in Klagenfurt is hosting a tree exhibition) they are set to be given a reality check. Roma have made a strong start under new coach Paulo Fonseca, and they have won both of their genuine away games this season (the Rome derby didn't count.)

Roma should have too much quality for Wolfsberger on what is essentially neutral territory. I'll back them to follow up their Matchday One win over Istanbul Basaksehir.

Kevin Hatchard,

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