The pick of Thursday’s action comes from the Europa League, and that’s exactly where our attentions are cast for our BTTS treble.
We’re backing six teams to open their respective group stage campaigns with a goal and, with odds of over 11/2 at Betfred , are hopeful of sealing the prefect prelude to what will hopefully be a great weekend.
Bordeaux V Liverpool. 6PM
Deep down, Brendan Rodgers’ men will be disappointed to be playing Thursday nights instead of Tuesday and Wednesday. However, the Europa League is a competition that the Reds can go far in and the Northern Irish boss could see this as an opportunity to win his first piece of silverware. On the other hand, their opening group game in France certainly won’t be easy.
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The Merseysiders could do with a confidence boost too after losing back-to-back Premier League games. Rodgers is likely to rest a few players ahead of the weekend clash against Norwich, but the fringe players will all be eager to show their credentials by finding the target at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas.
However, the Reds have leaked six goals in their past two matches alone and the French hosts will be confident about taking advantage. Willy Sagnol’s men notched two against PSG at the weekend, taking their tally to 12 from nine matches thus far, and the Ligue 1 side wont’ have anything to fear.
Both teams will be expected to reach the last 32, and a score draw wouldn’t surprise us here.
BTTS Yes @ 19/20 with Betfred
Rapid Vienna V Villarreal. 6PM
Our second selection comes from Austria as an in-form Villarreal look to open their Group E campaign with an away win against Rapid Vienna.
The visitors have picked up seven points from their first three La Liga matches, and will be extremely confident as the head to the Ernst Happel. After all, the hosts have leaked eight in their past three competitive matches alone. If the Yellow Submarine can get the ball up to Cedric Bakambu and Roberto Soldado, they should experience plenty of joy in the final third.
Despite their strong form, though, the Spaniards have struggled slightly at the back and are still looking for their first clean sheet of the season. Zoran Barasic’s men might not be fancied to win, but they have scored 12 in their six competitive home games in 2015/16 and are more than capable of finding the target.
Unfortunately for the visitors, we’re not sure one goal will be enough to seal any points.
BTTS Yes @ 4/5 with Betfred
Asteras Tripolis V Sparta Prague
Sparta Prague have been great value for money in recent weeks, with seven of their last nine matches ending in BTTS winners. We can’t see them drying up as Zdenk Scasny’s men make the trip to Greece either.
The Czech side have already scored twice in Moscow and three in Thun, so there’s no reason for the visitors to think they won’t find the target at the Stadio Theodoros Kolokotronis. If veteran striker David Lafata is given the opportunities, we’d be surprised if he doesn’t fire them to a positive result.
However, it is worth noting that the visitors failed to win either of those aforementioned European away trips, which will afford an extra sense of confidence for the Greek hosts. They’re not the most frequent scorers, but they can make good use of home advantage and punish the leaky away defence.
It’s not a game we’d be overly confident about picking the outcome of. However, we do think that there will be goals.
BTTS Yes @ 20/23 with Betfred
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