Nine British Teams in Action in Europe This Week
It is another busy week for British teams in the Champions and Europa League’s this week with nine teams in action across three days of games from Tuesday night through to Thursday. The nine teams include seven from the EPL plus two more from the Scottish Premier League as they all attempt to make it into the latter stages of each competition, which take place in the New Year.
So far, it has been a relatively positive start for the British teams in the main and all of them harbour genuine hopes of making it into the next phase of the tournament. Let’s now take a look at the nine games they are involved in this week starting with the games taking place on Tuesday night in the Champions League.
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Tuesday 5th November
Chelsea v Ajax (8pm)
Chelsea’s fine 1-0 away win in Amsterdam has put them back in with a real chance in Group H and they top the group on head to head record over Ajax. With Valencia set to pick up three points at home to Lille, moving them onto a likely seven points, this is therefore a crucial game for these two teams, both of whom have six points in the group so far.
With a tricky trip to Valencia to face, arguably more is at stake for Chelsea here and they will need to be careful against an Ajax side that have a fantastic away record in this competition in recent times. So much so that I feel the draw at 14/5 is the most likely outcome here.
Liverpool v Genk (8pm)
Liverpool recorded a strong 4-1 victory over Genk in Belgium a fortnight ago and on home soil at Anfield, the Reds will be confident of achieving a similar result against the Belgian side that have become the whipping boys within the group. However, their experience at home to Red Bull Salzburg, where they were pegged back from a 3-0 lead to 3-3, will have them a little more circumspect here.
With Napoli facing Red Bull at home, a win for the big two teams in this group would put them in a very strong position to qualify, and indeed Napoli would ensure a place in the next phase with a win for themselves and Liverpool here. Liverpool would then need a point from their last two games to join them. Liverpool are 1/12 to win this game and I think that is the easiest tip to make this week.
Wednesday 6th November
Vitoria Guimares v Arsenal (3.55pm)
After coming from behind late to beat Vitoria at the Emirates a couple of weeks back, Arsenal play Wednesday in the Europa League in Portugal in the return game in a strong position in their group and knowing a fourth successive win here would see them reach the knockout phase of the competition that they reached the final of last year.
However, Unai Emery is under real pressure after another poor display at home to Wolves last weekend saw them drop two more points. Vitoria also made life difficult for Arsenal in the home leg, but I feel the Gunners should have enough quality to pick up the points here. Back Arsenal to win at 6/5.
Atalanta v Manchester City (8pm)
Manchester City are comfortably top of their group in the Champions League having won all three of their games so far and they now face an Atalanta side that have lost all three of their games. The Italians have really struggled in this competition and it is clear they have found it a step up too far in terms of quality.
City on the other hand will know a win here would allow them to rest players in their final two group games in the tournament as they head into a busy Christmas period of games. As such, I think City will g o all out for the win here and I can see them achieving that at odds of 1/2.
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham (8pm)
After thumping their opponents 5-0 at their home stadium last time out, Tottenham will be hoping to put their away day issues behind them in Belgrade, but will be wary of a Red Star Belgrade side that are so much better at home than on the road, as Liverpool found to their cost last season.
However, I feel Spurs, now that they have a foothold in the group after another slow start to the campaign in Europe, could well surprise a few here and pick up a point in what could be a key result come the end of the group stage. Back the draw here at 3/1.
Thursday 7th November
Lazio v Celtic (5.55pm)
After a fine comeback victory over Lazio in Glasgow took Celtic to the top of the group, the Celts will know a win here would likely confirm their place in the next round. However, Lazio on home soil are a much more difficult prospect than the same team on the road and I think the Scottish champions could be set for a long night in Rome.
Lazio do have some outstanding players that caused Celtic plenty of problems in the first leg and I can see them having a bigger influence on the game in the Stadio Olimpico. This will be close but I am backing Lazio to win at 4/7.
Man Utd v Partizan Belgrade (8pm)
Manchester United ended their long away day hoodoo with a win in Belgrade against Partizan a couple of weeks back and then followed that up with a win at Norwich, however they failed to keep that going at Bournemouth this past weekend, going down to a 1-0 defeat to the Cherries.
However, at home against a Partizan side that didn’t really show a great deal against United on home soil, I would back United to win this game. Solskjaer’s team have been struggling for goals of late but I feel they could be set for a few tonight. United are 4/11 to win and they should achieve that comfortably.
Rangers v FC Porto (8pm)
Steven Gerrard’s team produced a fine display to earn a valuable point in Portugal last time out in this group and that is the only point won by a team away from home in what has been a very tough and evenly contested group between all four teams.
However, I think on home soil and given that Rangers are now starting to look much more at home with Europe’s top teams, I think Rangers will be looking for a win here, even against a side as experienced at the highest level as FC Porto. Back Rangers to land a famous win here at 7/4.
Wolves v Slovan Bratislava (8pm)
Wolves produced a fine comeback to beat Slovan Bratislava 2-1 in their previous game in Slovakia and Nuno Santo’s men will be hoping for an equally positive outcome tonight as they seek to earn a third win in a row in their group.
Although Wolves have not been at their fluid best in Europe as yet, they are proving very tough to beat and I think that, plus the extra quality that they possess in key areas of their squad means that the home side should land the win here at odds of 4/11.