Europa League Betting: Bayer to bounce back

Bayer Leverkusen boss Heiko Herrlich
Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich is under pressure
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The Europa League continues, and Kevin Hatchard has four selections from Matchday Two...

"Bayer Leverkusen are good at beating weaker sides at the BayArena, and they should find this match unusually comfortable after a tough start to the campaign."

Back Bayer Leverkusen -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v AEK Larnaca at [2.07]

Leverkusen to ease the pain of Dortmund defeat

Bayer Leverkusen v AEK Larnaca
Thursday 04 October, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

For a few hopeful minutes on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen fans could speculate that their team was about to beat Borussia Dortmund, and that maybe the early-season jitters were about to banished for good. Bayer raced into a 2-0 lead against BVB at the BayArena, but then they were simply blown away by the Dortmund forward line.

A 4-2 defeat was a hammer blow, Leverkusen's fourth loss in their first six Bundesliga matches. The pressure is building on coach Heiko Herrlich, who needs to start finding a way to make a young and talented side much more consistent.

The one thing Bayer generally do is overcome sides they should beat on home soil, and AEK Larnaca certainly fall into that category. The Cypriot side lost 1-0 at home to Swiss side Zurich in Matchday One, and their lack of recent experience at this level could cost them over the six matches.

Bayer were wounded by that collapse against Dortmund, and I think there's a backlash coming. Back the hosts -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at [2.07].

Returning Rebic a boost for Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt v Lazio
Thursday 04 October, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Extra

It's been a rollercoaster ride for new Eintracht Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter, but Sunday's resounding 4-1 win over Hannover was a step in the right direction. Eintracht have been crying out for the penetrative running and cool finishing of Croatian World Cup star Ante Rebic, and he is finally fully fit after missing the start of the season. Rebic has scored in his last two league games, and provided an assist.

There is great excitement in Frankfurt about this UEL campaign, with all three home games sold out before the group-stage draw was even made. On that basis it would be a big surprise if Hutter didn't select something close to his strongest line-up, with Rebic possibly supporting the in-form Sebastien Haller in attack.

Lazio were motoring along until they suffered a demoralising derby defeat against Roma in Serie A. Coach Simone Inzaghi bemoaned his players' lack of fight and desire, and there'll be a test of those characteristics on Thursday as well.

I'll back the hosts to surf the wave of optimism and get a positive result, but against such strong opposition. I'll support them with a bit of insurance by using the Draw No Bet market.

Special European night in store at Ibrox

Rangers v Rapid Vienna
Thursday 04 October, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Extra

I've been hugely impressed by what Rangers have achieved in Europe this term, especially when you consider the coaching inexperience of new boss Steven Gerrard. The Glasgow giants saw off battle-hardened European outfits like Maribor and Osijek in the qualifiers, and the way they twice came back from a goal down to draw 2-2 at Villarreal on Matchday One was extraordinary.

Under Gerrard, Rangers have been outstanding on home soil, winning all but one of their matches in all competitions. They have rattled in 13 goals in their last three home games.

Rapid Vienna secured an excellent 2-0 win over Spartak Moscow on Matchday One, but their domestic form has totally collapsed, with just one point collected from their last four league games. On the road, they haven't won a game inside 90 minutes since July.

I'll back Rangers to win this one at [2.1].

Leipzig to fall flat again

Rosenborg v RB Leipzig
Thursday 04 October, 17:55
Live on BT Sport Extra

After their humiliating 3-2 home defeat to Red Bull stablemates Salzburg on MD1, Leipzig know they need to get back on track. An extraordinary rant from coach/sporting director Ralf Rangnick seems to have done the trick in the short term, with RBL collecting wins against Stuttgart and Hoffenheim.

However, Leipzig's away form is generally of concern, with just two wins from seven road trips in all competitions. They have managed just one clean sheet on their travels this term, and there is a sense that Rangnick doesn't have the right balance between attack and defence.

Rosenborg suffered an agonising 1-0 defeat at Celtic, as Leigh Griffiths bagged a late winner, but their form in Trondheim is very good. RBK have won their six home matches in all competitions, and haven't been beaten on home soil since May.

I'll lay the visitors here.

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