The Europa League enters the Group Stage finale as Game Week Six arrives which should see more goals than any round yet. We have also included a tie from the Wednesday’s Champions League fixtures that concludes too. We are very happy with our four fold which if delivers will be leaving you with a pocket full of cash for the weekend!
Schalke 04 v Basel – 7.45pm Wednesday
BTTS odds – 4/7 SkyBet
Only one of these sides will progress into the knockout stage while the other will be partaking in the less glamorous and less financially attractive, Europa League. Chelsea have already qualified with Steaua of Romania finishing fourth whatever happens on Wednesday. Visitors Basel require just a point whereas the home side will be looking for goals early on.
Schalke need a win in their final tie in Group E to ensure qualification and will go all out to get it. At home they have only failed to score once all season and that was against a strong Chelsea side and I cannot see them repeating it in such an important game. Since that 3-0 defeat, they have scored eight goals in four games at home against strong opposition including Dortmund and Stuttgart. I believe they will certainly open the scoring and early on!
Basel find themselves with tricky decisions to make going into the tie. The Swiss outfit require just a draw and will have to decide carefully whether to play their normal game or go super defensive and try to take a draw or score on the counter. Whatever Basel decide to do I can see Schalke breaching their defence meaning the Swiss Champions have to get a goal which they’re certainly capable of, having beaten Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Fiorentina v Dnipro – 6.00pm Thursday
BTTS odds – 5/6 SkyBet
The two teams meeting here are a couple of the better sides in the tournament and will be hopeful of progressing quite far. Today they fight it out for top spot to see who avoids the Champions League dropouts. Fiorentina require just a draw whereas Dnipro need a win. In Ukraine, the reverse fixture hosted a 2-1 Fiorentina win with Pizarro seeing red late on. A fiery affair with goals at both ends- more of the same please.
Fiorentina will be looking to remain unbeaten in Europe here at home and will be confident in doing so looking at their record so far. In their two other home ties the Viola registered 3-0 victories over Pandurii and Pacos Ferreira and they have only failed to score once this season in all competitions at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Another few goals will see them qualify here as Group winners.
Dnipro will be looking to avenge the defeat and the only points they have dropped so far on their way to Europa League qualification. On their last outing they took a 3-0 hammering in the Ukrainian Vyscha League where they missed a penalty and had a man sent off but this was the only match this season across all competitions they have failed to score and I just cannot see lightning strike twice in consecutive games.
Dynamo Kiev v Rapid Wien – 8.05pm Thursday
BTTS odds – 5/6 SkyBet
Group G is our next destination where we have two sides with it all to play for- a shoot off between second and third for that final place in the knockout stages. Dynamo Kiev who hold the advantage in second place and just require a draw, welcome Austria’s Rapid Wien who trail Kiev by just a single point but need three big ones to qualify.
Dynamo Kiev are having one of their better seasons domestically and find themselves second in the Vyscha League behind Champions League regulars Shakhtar Donetsk. In Europe they can be content with their performances but miss out on top spot to Belgium outfit Genk who beat them 3-1 in the last game-week. If Kiev choose to sit back here against Wien I expect them to concede, meaning they have to go all out to equalise. Considering they have fired home 12 goals in just five games there is no reason why they won’t score.
Rapid Wien’s task is quite clear, victory will secure their place in the last 32 and dropping points will see them crash out. Six of their last eight games has seen both teams to score land and four from their five games in the Group Stages have also fulfilled this market. Even though I can see them scoring and the Austrian side likely to take the lead, I dont think they will do so without conceding shortly after.
PAOK Saloniki v AZ Alkmaar – 8.05pm Thursday
BTTS odds – 5/6 SkyBet
Greece meet Holland and first meet second as PAOK meet AZ Alkmaar in the final match day of the Europa Group Stages. These two sides share identical records thus far, having played five won three and drawn two. Even goal difference is the same with PAOK scoring and conceding two more than their Dutch rivals leaving them top. Can they be split here on Thursday?
The reverse tie in Holland finished 1-1 and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the scoreline was replicated here. PAOK will be confident knowing a draw will be enough to see them avoid tougher sides in the first knockout round. At home they registered a 2-1 victory over Shakhtyor Karaganda and a 3-1 win against Maccabi Haifa in their other two Europa ties which makes great reading for our bet.
AZ require the three points and will be using the match to turn their form around having struggled for points domestically where they have failed to win since the start of November. Fortunately this hasn’t effected results in Europe where they have picked up two victories in that time. Four of their last five ties have seen both teams score and there is no reason why they will not go into the game looking to snatch three points.