Europa League Tips: Velodrome va va voom for Marseille

Europa League Tips: Velodrome va va voom for Marseille

Get set for more chaos at the Velodrome

Marseille v Galatasaray
Thursday 30 September, 20:00
Live on BT Sport ESPN

Life is certainly never dull when Jorge Sampaoli is around. The Argentinean coach had already put his exciting yet chaotic stamp on Marseille, and win, lose or draw, there’s always something going on.

Sunday night’s 3-2 home defeat to Lens was a great example of this barely-controlled chaos. L’OM fell 2-0 behind inside 27 minutes, they were level by half-time thanks to a brace from Dimitri Payet, but they conceded a second-half winner.

Marseille are averaging two points per game in Ligue 1, and have scored 14 goals in seven top-flight matches, so they are fun to watch.

The concession of a late leveller in the 1-1 draw at Lokomotiv Moscow means Marseille have to take this game seriously, and they face a Galatasaray side that is full of confidence after a 1-0 win over Lazio. Five of their seven Super Lig games have featured at least three goals, and their recent 3-0 hammering at Kayserispor suggests there are still defensive deficiencies to address.

Three of Marseille’s four home games this term have featured at least three goals, and I think there’ll be goals again here. You can back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.845/6, and I think even at odds-on that’s an attractive price.

Danes to avoid defeat

Braga v Midtjylland
Thursday 30 September, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Digital

Danish club Midtjylland are in a golden era. Last season they competed in the group stage of the Champions League, facing Liverpool, Ajax and Atalanta, and they have been crowned as Danish champions in 2015, 2018 and 2020. This season they dumped Celtic out of the Champions League qualifiers, only to then fall to PSV.

Braga are regular combatants in Europe, and they often punch above their weight at domestic and continental level. However, it’s been a sticky start to the campaign for Carlos Carvalhal’s men. Braga have only lost once in the league, and that was at home to champions Sporting, but they have had unimpressive draws against Santa Clara, Pacos de Ferreira and Vitoria Guimaraes. On Matchday One of the UEL, they lost 2-1 at Crvena Zvezda.

We can back Midtjylland +0 & +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at 2.26/5, and that means we get a half-win if the game is drawn, and a full odds-against winner if the Danish side takes all three points. Braga have won just one of their three home games this term.

Bosz won’t bash Brondby

Lyon v Brondby
Thursday September 30, 17:45
Live on BT Sport Digital

It’s been a difficult start to life in Ligue 1 for new Lyon boss Peter Bosz. The Dutchman’s demanding style of play has yielded mixed results, and he has publicly castigated his players for some of their displays, which is never a good early sign. Although Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta is playing some sparkling football, Houssem Aouar seems unsettled by constant transfer talk, and the loss of the talismanic Memphis Depay to Barcelona was always going to be a blow.

Lyon have picked up just three wins from eight Ligue 1 games, and they endured a draining match at the weekend, playing all but 14 minutes of their 1-1 draw with Lorient with 10 men, after Emerson had been dismissed. Having won 2-0 at Rangers on Matchday One, Lyon may feel they can give some players a much-needed rest here.

Danish champions Brondby drew 0-0 with Sparta Prague on Matchday One, and although they were outclassed by Salzburg in the Champions League qualifiers, they did only lose 2-1 in each leg. It’s been a tough title defence so far in Denmark, with just 11 points collected from 10 matches, but they have only lost three of those games.

Lyon are without the injured Moussa Dembele and Tino Kadewere in attack, and although they may well win, I’ll give Brondby a two-goal start here on the Asian Handicap at 1.814/5. We only lose if the French side win by three goals or more, something they haven’t yet managed under Bosz.

Napoli to shine again

Napoli v Spartak Moscow
Thursday 30 September, 17:45
Live on BT Sport Digital

This is a good time to be a Napoli fan. While much of the title talk centred around Inter, Juventus and Milan pre-season, few considered the Partenopei in their first season under Luciano Spalletti. Napoli have won all six of their games in Serie A, and showed admirable grit to come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Leicester City a fortnight ago in the Europa League.

Victor Osimhen scored both goals in that comeback, and he’s having a superb campaign already. The Nigerian has bagged four goals in five Serie A matches, and he is linking up really well with EURO 2020 winner Lorenzo Insigne, who has shrugged off speculation about his future (he is in the final year of his contract with his hometown club).

Spartak made a losing start to the group stage, as they went down 1-0 against Legia Warsaw, and last year’s Russian Premier League runners-up are struggling under Portuguese coach Rui Vitoria. They have collected just 13 points from nine league games, and they have lost seven of their 12 competitive matches this term.

Spartak might be without Swedish striker Jordan Larsson through injury, while Russian international midfielder Roman Zobnin is definitely out. I’ll back Napoli -1.5 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.84/5.