With the Champions League Group stages now all-but completed, Thursday sees the final round of games in both the Europa League and Europa Conference League.
In Group C of the former, the picture remains wide open ahead of Thursday’s finale, as Leicester City travel to Naples for an all-or-nothing clash with Napoli. Victory over Legia Warsaw on MD5 saw the Foxes leapfrog to the top of the standings, and a draw will be enough to see Brendan Rodgers’ men through here but possibly not in first place. Napoli, having lost striking talisman Victor Osimhen have rather lost their way, and though having not lost since the trip to Moscow, have shipped five goals in two in Serie A. Only a Partenopei win will book their place in the knockouts, whilst a draw may not be enough if Spartak Moscow at least draw in Poland.
The Group is in the balance then, but Napoli are at 13/10 with Coral, Betfair and QuinnBet. Leicester are 9/4, but as documented, a draw is all that is needed and at 13/5 across the board. In terms of scorelines, when the two met earlier this season, four goals were shared and in their corresponding domestic fixtures, both teams recorded 2-2 draws on the road on December 1st. Could that be an omen? At a price of 14/1 with William Hill, a repeat result might tick a box.
In east London, West Ham United have already stamped their place in the next round as winners and entertaining a Dinamo Zagreb side who may need a point to join them, may also rest some of their regular starting XI. Despite this, the Irons’ have a 100% record in qualifying and at a price of evens with Ladbrokes, West Ham could double your money.
Interest will turn to Group E also, as Lazio and Galatasaray square off in the Eternal City. With the Istanbul outfit leading the standings by three points, Lazio though, will jump into top spot with a win, courtesy of goal difference. A feisty encounter is expected and though the hosts are backed to advance, a low-scoring contest could be in offing given the stakes. As such, for under 1.5 goals to be scored, all four of BetVictor, PariMatch, UniBet and BoyleSport’s 4/1 could pay off.
Elsewhere, for the game that could bring the most goals, Celtic versus Real Betis appeals. Though, perhaps something of a dead rubber, Ange Postecoglou will want his charges to go out of the Europa League in style. Betis can technically still go through as winners of the group, but need a big win, coupled with Ferencvaros getting not only their first points, but their first win, at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
Despite that, this game looks appealing. Not only because Betis’ games in the group have seen at least four goals scored three times, but with Celtic’s encounters witnessing four goals-plus in four of five meetings also. Moreso, the Glaswegians last two group games have had a total five goals notched in each, but the bigger signal for goals could be that when the two met in Spain during MD1, a 4-3 thriller played out. A similar scenario would not be a surprise and for over 3.5 goals to be scored, odds of 8/5 with PariMatch, UniBet and BetVictor might pique your interest, or for a more adventurous but not unlikely 4.5 to go in, PaddyPower and SBK will further your odds at 19/5.
Finally, a clash that may not at first garner much attention, the Conference League Group H decider between Basel and Qarabag is for all the marbles. With both Azerbaijani and Austrian sides level on 11 points, just two goals part the teams ahead their meeting in Bern, with the hosts having scored one more goal over the five games thus far, but also with one more conceded to their name. That leaves Basel knowing a draw will suffice, while the visitors must win to snatch top berth. To pull off the upset, Qarabag are 16/5 with Bet365.