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We are into the group stages of what I like to call the Mickey Mouse Cup, or the UEFA Europa League; where any result is possible between any teams; and therefore you will see most of my tips involve goals, as there can be plenty of them in this competition.
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Feyenoord v Man Utd – Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 (William Hill) – 2.5 pointsMarcus Rashford Anytime Scorer @ 2.75 (Bet365) – 1 point
Manchester United travel away to Holland in a competition that they honestly would not like to participate, but Jose Mourinho is a man who has a trophy target on his back, and will be looking to win anything to keep build on his legacy. Mourinho has managed to motivated the squad and even taken a strong team with him to Holland with the exception of Rooney, Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Shaw, Valencia and Jones have bene left behind. The United starting lineup should include a starting XI as per below Romero – Darmian, Smalling, Bailly, Rojo – Schneiderlin, Herrera – Young, Depay, Martial – Rashford if what we given to believe from Mourinho’s conference and team news. Marcus Rashford in particular will be out to impress in a competition that really made his name when he netted a brace in his first outing against Midtjylland last season. Rashford has started out the season well even netting goals in the U21; and is now ready to begin his fully 90 minutes debut for the season, and his pace could trouble their opponents in this big encounter. Other names including Schneiderlin, Depay, Herrera, Young and Smalling will be out to prove themselves as match fit, as well as ready to get back into the starting XI. Should this team be on the pitch, there is a risk for United defensively, which could make them a bit weaker and leave spaces in the back for opposition to exploit.
Feyenoord have started out the season in fantastic fashion racing away to the top of the Eredivisie with 15 points out of the 5 games played so far, netting 15 goals while conceding only 2, for a goal difference of +13. Manager van Bronchorst has challenged the side to compete on all fronts, and he has set up a squad that has started to dominate domestically and want to take that on the continental stage. Elia, Jorgensson and Kuyt have already netted 3 goals a piece to kick start the campaign in fine scoring form. Feyenoord will rely a lot on the home crowd also to give the rapturous noise and support to help the home crowd go over on their English opponents.
Goals will look to be the name of the game in this encounter as both teams are looking to continue building their squads for domestic challenges and that should leave plenty of spaces in the back for the quicker offences to exploit. Over 2.5 goals is my entry into this encounter.
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Nice v Schalke – Over 2 Asian Goal Line @ 1.53 (Bet365) – 3 points
Nice have started out their season in fine fashion, marching to join top of the French Ligue 1 with Monaco and are looking to build on this form with 3 wins and a draw so far. They have recently some new owners who have invested in the squad, and they have even signed up Mario Balotelli who netted 2 goals on his debut. The Nice team had finished 4th which was their best finish last year and with the extra investment, they are expecting to battle on all fronts and being competitive. Nice games have been extremely close but this is the Europa League and some form of rotation is always expected, which helps in terms of defensive frailties that could lead to goals being conceded.
Schalke have started out the new season in poor form, sitting in 17th spot in the table. While they have struggled defensively losing both of their games by conceding 3 goals, offensively they have been even worse. Huntelaar has been struggling to regain form after an injury, and he will likely start this game in order to build up his form. Brett Embolo has been signed up Basel, and along with other key players Konoplyanka, Draxler, Huntelaar, Bentelab and Stambouli who need to step up the party in order to score the goals that will be needed for the team to succeed. Schalke played well in the Europa League last season and 5 out of their 6 games had a minimum of 2 goals in those games.
I am expecting this to be a good scoring game, and I am backing over 2 Asian Goal Line as a safety pick, incase it just lands up only 2 goals in the game.
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Sassuolo v Athletic Bilbao – Over 2 Asian Goal Line @ 1.60 (Bet365) – 3 points
Sassuolo are one of the hottest scoring teams in Serie A; more often than not, landing up scoring a goal in the first half and in case they are not able to; then they land up conceding. They have scored in each game so far this season which saw 6 goals in the first half itself of the 3 games they have played and 55 goals in the 38 games that they played last season. Sassuolo will be up for this encounter especially after their strong showing last season and will rely on the likes of Berardi, Matri and Defrel to get a big chunk of their goals that they have netted last season. Defensively they have been shaky, shipping out 4 goals in their last 2 games, and that might hurt them in their progress to the later stages of the competition.
Athletic Bilbao love the Europa League and made a strong showing all the way to the quarter final stages last year, before losing on penalties to Sevilla last season. They did well winning all 3 of their away games in the group stages last season. They started off this season with 2 losses before turning it around against Deportivo last time around. Bilbao will rely on their usual stalwarts Susaeta, Aduriz, Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams and Muniain who have had helped them score in 14 straight away games in the Europa League over the past few years.
Both teams are expected to perform well in this competition and they love scoring goals. There is a good chance that both teams will land up scoring in this encounter and for an insurance, I am backing over 2 Asian Goal line in this encounter.
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