I feel obliged to research the Europa League but I'm not sure that the research generates those all-important angles. I would take my cues from the market here (strong favourites' matches to be prioritised). I would tread very warily with any matches where the favourite is at odds of 2.4 decimal or higher. Do remember that these are the first matches in the group stage. If I can, then I'll be at the DRT Facebook page because the in-play stats have been very helpful for this competition.
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
APOEL v F91 Dudelange - 1.34 APOEL
- Group A also sees Qarabag and Sevilla.
- F91, from Luxembourg, look to be the whipping boys in this group.
- 3-1 and 1-0 home wins for APOEL came v Hapoel Beer Sheva and Astana in 2018.
- As typifies this competition, I really cannot gauge F91's EL accomplishments because I have no gauge for the teams they have beaten, as against APOEL.
- The only gauge is the odds.
Dynamo Kiev v Malmo FF - 1.8 Kiev
- Group B.
- Ukraine v Sweden.
- Since 2018 in the EL, Dynamo Kiev lost to Lazio, Jablonec, and twice to Chelsea.
- Losses at home in the EL saw Dynamo Kiev fail to score.
- They did beat Rennes and Olympiakos.
- 6 wins, a 2-2 and a loss for Malmo in the EL. The loss was a controlled 2nd leg loss after a comprehensive home win.
- 0-1-0-0 goals conceded recently.
- When Malmo have failed to score away, then they have tended to lose. So watch out, via the in-play stats, for whether they will be showing strong attacking intent via the shots on/off target and corners stats. Same with Kiev. When both teams have failed to score in the EL, they have tended to lose.
FC Basel v FK Krasnodar - 2.24 Basel
- Group C.
- 2 sides doing well in their domestic leagues.
- 3 wins last year for Basel and a 1-0 loss to Apollon.
- No strong home form angles given only 1 home match 2018 and the others 2016 and earlier.
- FK failed to win their last 5 EL matches, 3 draws and 2 defeats. Only 2 wins in 11 away in the EL for FK. Are they going to continue to be poor travellers?
FC Copenhagen v Lugano - 1.6 FC Copenhagen
- Group B.
- Denmark v Switzerland.
- The market is with the Danes who do have a Champions League pedigree.
- 0-0-0-3-0 scored by Copenhagen in their last 5 EL matches is poor.
- Lugano were last in the EL in 2017. They beat Plzen, Hapoel Beer Sheva and FCSB.
- Nothing much for me to gauge by apart from the market which has dismissed Copenhagen's failures to score the last time they were in the EL.
Getafe v Trabzonspor - 1.64 Getafe
- Group C.
- 3 consecutive 1-1 draws for Getafe in all competitions.
- Getafe were last in the EL in 2010.
- I will have to leave the research there. No way to know, bar the market's synopsis.
Qarabag FK v Sevilla - 1.57 Sevilla
- Group A.
- Sevilla have historically taken this competition seriously.
- Qarabag are from Azerbaijan.
- 9 defeats and 3 wins last 12 matches in the EL.
- Only 3 defeats for Sevilla since 2015 in the EL has me expecting this to go the way of the market.
20:00 kick off
Wolves v Braga - 1.62 Wolves
- Group K.
- Wolves have had a great EL campaign so far, 4-4-4-3-2 goals scored in 5 wins. Their manager will know Braga well - the Portuguese connection.
- 4/4 wins for Braga in their recent EL matches.
- 2 teams in good form in the EL to date but the market is taken by Wolves at home.
Espanyol v Ferencvaros - 1.43 Espanyol
- Group H.
- Spain v Bulgaria. Another strong market favourite from the perceived better league.
- Since September 2006, when Espanyol have appeared in the EL, they have been unbeaten. In 13 of the last 15 matches, they scored 2 goals. Like Sevilla, we have another Spanish side who apparently take this competition seriously.
- Ferencvaros lasted only one round of the EL last season.
- It does look as obvious as the odds.
Gent v St Etienne - 2.22 Gent
- Group I.
- Belgium v France. St Etienne were great for trading at the weekend but twice a 3-2 was undone by VAR. They did come from behind in that match.
- Both teams scored in 4 of the last 5 EL matches for Gent.
- Only 2 home losses for Gent since 2015 in the EL but the eternal dilemma is gauging the teams they have had positive results against,versus today's opponents.
- They met French team Bordeaux last season in a 0-0.
- Only 1 loss in 7 matches for St Etienne.
- St Etienne were last in the EL in 2017 when they went out to Man Utd, losing home and away. So nothing recent to gauge them by in this competition.
Ludogorets v CSKA Moscow - 2.82 both sides
- Group H.
- Bulgaria v Russia and I will leave the market to conclude this opening group match. 2.82 the favourites suggest an absolute puzzler. Play via in-play stats or not at all.
Man Utd v FC Astana - 1.23 United
- Group L.
- Are Man Utd motivated for this competition? Will they be fielding a full strength side?
- Only 1 win in 4 matches for United saw them score only 1 goal max in each match.
- United are unbeaten in their last 11 EL matches, albeit that takes us back to May 2017, the Europa League Final. Does that answer our question about motivation for this competition?
- Astana are a Kazak side.
- 2018 they lost to Dynamo Kiev and Rennes. 4 wins and a loss v BATE (engineered loss as they won over 2 legs).
- We must be with the market this evening, albeit a cursory glance at the team sheet for Man Utd.
Mgladbach v Wolfsberger AC - 1.35 Mgldbach
- Group J.
- German Bundesliga v Austrian Bundesliga.
- Mgladbach were last in the EL in 2017. They did meet high calibre sides such as Sevilla, Fiorentina and Schalke.
- Wolfsberger were last in the EL in 2015 so little to work with here bar an emphatic market.
Partizan Belgrade v AZ Alkmaar - 2.6 Partizan
- Group L.
- 2.6 the favourite suggests we watch this or leave alone.
Porto v Young Boys - 1.55 Porto
- Group G.
- Tasty match featuring 2 sides we know very well.
- Porto were last in the EL in 2016 so little to work with bar the market which favours them greatly here.
- Young Boys domestically are a trader's dream, with goals before halftime, late winners, and an ability to come from behind.
- But....in the EL they seem to have struggled, albeit the latter matches were from 2017.Only 3 wins in 16 matches.
- In-play stats here today with very recent EL form very thin of the ground despite our familiarity with both sides.
Rangers v Feyenoord - 2.4 Rangers
- Group G.
- 6 clean sheets in 8 EL matches for Rangers this campaign in an unbeaten run.
- 5 clean sheets in 6 home matches for Rangers.
- Their defence will be tested.
- Feyenoord have found their goalscoring form. 3-3-1-3 goals scored in their last 4 matches in all competitions.
- 3-0 wins v Hapoel Beer Sheva home and away for Feyenoord.
- Rangers have tended towards 0-0's for a long period in their matches. Dare we back 0-0 pre match......or acknowledge 2.4 the favourite suggests a match tough to get a handle on.
Roma v Basaksehir - 1.42 Roma
- Group J.
- Italian Seria A v the Turkish Super Lig.
- Roma were last in the EL in 2017, losing to Villareal and Lyon who they also beat in other rounds.
- Basaksehir have a poor record in the EL. 2015 and 2016 they failed to win. 2017 they beat Braga and Ludogorets.
- Faith in the market here as there is no collateral form (Roma have not played a Turkish side in the EL and vice versa).
Slovan Bratislava v Besiktas - 2.12 Besiktas
- Group K.
- Slovakia v Turkey.
- Slovan haven't tended to get into the Group stages of the EL in recent years. They had a good win record in the 2-legged rounds but did not meet elite sides.
- In 2018, teams such as Lask Linz, Malmo, Genk, beat Besiktas. How do we weigh these sides as against Slovan Bratislava from Slovakia?
- I cannot find an angle here I'm afraid suffice to say that Slovan tend not to get to this stage of the EL historically.
Wolfsburg v Oleksandria - 1.24 Wolfsburg
- Group I.
- 3 consecutive 1-1 draws for the Wolf in all competitions sees them conceding but not losing.
- The Wolf were last in the EL in 2015 so I don't think we can gauge any EL form.
- Ukrainian opponents are new to the EL from 2016 and 2017 where their lasting a combined 6 matches does not augur well.
CFR Cluj v Lazio - 1.79 Lazio
- Group E.
- Romania v Italian Seria A.
- Cluj knocked Celtic out of the Champions League but were knocked out, themselves, by Slavia Prague.
- The last time Cluj met an Italian Seria A side in the EL was in 2013. Since then, they have met teams from leagues far weaker than the Italian Seria A.
- Losses last year for Lazio in the EL came v Apollon, Frankfurt, and Sevilla. 6 losses in 8 aways in the EL for Lazio is a concern.
- Steaua Bucharest (from Romania) did beat Lazio away 1-0.
- As ever, which Lazio turns up here. Are Lazio interested in a Europa League run? Their away form is really poor in this competition and they have lost away to Romanian opponents in the past.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal - 2.38 Arsenal
- Group F.
- German Bundesliga v English Premier League.
- Note Frankfurt played Chelsea last season in the EL, a 1-1 home draw and a 1-1 away draw. They did not lose. Is this what we'll expect today v Arsenal?
- Easy pickings so far for Frankfurt v Vaduz, Flora and Strasbourg.
- 3-2-2 goals conceded by Arsenal in their last 3 matches.
- Last season in the EL, Arsenal beat Rennes, Napoli (twice), and Valencia (twice). They lost to Chelsea 4-1 away.
- Both sides show reasonable interest and form in the EL hence......drum roll please.......2.38 the favourite!
- Lay the first team to score? Will this be as tight as Frankfurt v Chelsea?
- Watch for Arsenal team news. Aubameyang playing for Arsenal would be a huge bonus. 2 goals again at the weekend.
LASK Linz v Rosenborg - 2.1 LASK Linz
- Group D.
- 2 recognisable sides for DRT live chat webinar attendees. And both teams dependable domestically.
- LASK were new to the EL in 2018 with 2 wins v Lillestrom and a loss and win v Besiktas.
- 5 losses and a draw for Rosenborg in the EL last year, losses v Celtic and Salzburg, an Austrian side like Linz.
- As Rosenborg progresses in the EL, they found it hard to win. Can LASK do what fellow Austrians Salzburg do and beat Rosenborg?
PSV v Sporting Lisbon - 1.91 PSV
- Group D.
- 5 defeats for PSV in 2017 without scoring - not bothered with this competition or meeting better sides?
- 4/4 clean sheets so far this 2019 v Haugesund and Apollon.
- In 2018, Sporting did beat Atl Madrid, Qarabag, Vorskla and lost to Arsenal and Villareal. 2 of the elite leagues. Can we lump the Portuguese Primeira Liga with those 2 Elite leagues? They are not quite there.
- This is a step up for PSV. My real worry with them is their attitude to the competition based on 2017 outings. Value may lie in laying a PSV lead. The in-play stats will suggest to us what mood they are in.
Rennes v Celtic - 2.2 Rennes
- Group E.
- Top 6 French Ligue 1 Rennes plays perennial Scottish Champions Celtic who are, yet again, booted out of the Champions League far too early.
- Rennes were knocked out by Arsenal last EL.
- In 2018 at home, they scored and conceded in 4/5 matches, scoring 2/3 goals in 4/5 matches.
- Losses last EL for Celtic v Red Bull, and Valencia. Wins this term v AIK. I think this may be a tricky fixture for Celtic and I would consider laying Celtic if Celtic scored first. Rennes do tend to score and concede.
Standard v Guimaraes - 1.84 Standard
- Group F.
- Belgium v Portugal.
- In 2018 if we focus on Standard at home in the EL we will see solid form. Indeed if we go back 2015, 2016, and 2018, Standard at home were unbeaten.
- They did score and concede in 7/8 at home which, if this pattern continues, allows us to Lay Guimaraes if Guimaraes score first.
- A 1-0 win over a Sevilla side who take it seriously last home EL match is very eye-catching too and lurches us towards Standard.
- In EL appearances in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Guimaraes won only one match. 5 wins and a 0-0, and 6 clean sheets so far this campaign but remember that the opponents get better the deeper you progress.
- It could be a match to risk backing 0-0 pre-match, 1-0 and 0-1 and hoping this match sees defenses strong at least long enough to allow us to profit and cash out.