Europa League Betting: Celtic to stay alive for a while longer

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and midfielder Scott Brown
Celtic's Europa League hopes hang in the balance
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After making a profit from Matchday Three, Kevin Hatchard's back with four fresh selections.

"Celtic's home record is outstanding, and although Leipzig are on stellar form, they shouldn't be as short as evens."

Lay RB Leipzig v Celtic at [2.0]

Celtic to keep their European dream alive

Celtic v RB Leipzig
Thursday November 8, 20:00
Live on BT Sport 3

Having been comprehensively beaten in Salzburg and Leipzig, Celtic find themselves in deep trouble. Another defeat at Parkhead on Thursday night effectively ends their hopes of playing continental football after Christmas.

They face a Leipzig team that has shaken off some early-season problems to put together a ten-match unbeaten run, a sequence that has included seven victories. Striker Timo Werner has been on sparkling form, and Brazilian youngster Matheus Cunha is starting to settle after his summer switch from Swiss side Sion. The defence, much-maligned in the opening weeks, has kept six consecutive clean sheets.

So, do Celtic have a hope of stopping the Leipzig machine? Only if they can get the crowd involved and make it a special European night in Glasgow. Celtic have won their last seven home games in all competitions, including Champions League and Europa League wins over Rosenborg (there's a quiz question for the future) and an Old Firm derby against Steven Gerrard's Rangers. In their last three domestic games, Celtic have racked up three wins, scoring 13 goals and conceding none.

Celtic haven't lost home since May, and as well as Leipzig are playing, they aren't infallible. RBL coach Ralf Rangnick may make sweeping changes, as he has done throughout the campaign, and Celtic have key players back from injury and suspension.

Leipzig shouldn't be evens here, so take advantage and lay them.

Pointless Bordeaux have to come out swinging

Bordeaux v Zenit
Thursday November 8, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Extra

Bordeaux made a dreadful start to the campaign, parting company with combustible coach Gus Poyet after a row over transfer policy. They are in mid-table in Ligue 1, and have lost all three of their Europa League matches, albeit all by just one goal.

Zenit are seven points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League, and they have taken seven points from their three UEL games. That said, their recent away form in this competition is atrocious, with four defeats and one draw from the last five road trips.

I think Bordeaux's desperation to get a win here could lead to a lively game. Five of their last eight home games in all competitions have featured three goals or more, the reverse fixture finished 2-1 to Zenit, and the Russian league leaders have leaked nine goals in their last four UEL away games.

I'll back Over 2.5 Goals at [2.14].

Awkward Apollon to ground the Eagles

Apollon v Eintracht Frankfurt
Thursday November 8, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

It's been a superb campaign so far from Eintracht Frankfurt. Having earned a rare chance at this level by winning the German Cup final against mighty Bayern Munich, the Eagles have won all three matches so far. Given that the group includes Lazio and last season's UEL runners-up Marseille, that's a Herculean effort from Adi Hutter's side.

Frankfurt know that they may have already done enough to qualify for the last 32, and I just wonder whether that might just creep into their thinking for this game. There's a huge match at home to Schalke this Sunday, and Frankfurt's recent Bundesliga form means they are genuine challengers for a top-six finish and another crack at European football next season. After a punishing schedule, this might be the game where Hutter shuffles his pack and rests a few key players.

Apollon held Marseille to a 2-2 draw in their last UEL home match, and they have only lost one of their last 21 home games in all competitions. In the Europa League they have lost just one of their last 15 games in Limassol.

At [1.59], Frankfurt feel too short to me, so I'll lay the visitors.

Astana to take another step towards knockout phase

Astana v Jablonec
Thursday November 8, 15:50
Live on BT Sport Extra

Kazakh champions Astana are building up a decent bank of European experience at this level. Last season they reached the knockout rounds before succumbing to Portuguese giants Sporting, and this season they are top of their section after three matches.

Astana managed a highly impressive 2-2 draw against Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, and saw off Rennes 2-0 in Kazakhstan. A creditable 1-1 stalemate at Jablonec maintained their unbeaten record.

Czech side Jablonec are yet to win in the group stage. They lost in France against Rennes and drew at home with Dynamo Kiev and Astana. Their recent away form is strong, with four wins from the last five, but one of those wins was in the Czech Cup, and the others were against bottom-half teams in the Czech top flight.

I fancy Astana here - they have played well in the UEL, and have won three of their last five home matches in this competition.

Kevin Hatchard 2018-19 Europa League Group Stage P/L

Points Staked: 19

Points Returned: 23.08

P/L: +4.08 points

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