Thursday Europa League action on the way

Lazio and Sevilla to serve up a cracker

Thursday sees a whole host of intriguing ties for the knockout stages of the Europa League and two teams in particular could produce a goal fest.

Goals the order of the day in Rome

The Stadio Olimpico plays host to one of the ties of the round, as Lazio take on Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League clash.

None of the remaining sides that took part in the group stages conceded more goals at home than Lazio (11), and goals look very much on the agenda here.

Sevilla scored 18 times during their group stage campaign and with attacking talent of Wissam Ben Yedder and Ever Banega at their disposal, the La Liga side will cause plenty of problems.

With that in mind, the over 2.5 match goals – at 2.05 – looks great value, with it landing in six of Sevilla’s seven games in this competition this season.

Gunners to shut out BATE 

Having led Sevilla to three successive Europa League titles, Unai Emery knows a thing or two about winning games in this competition.

He will be hoping to have similar success at Arsenal this season, with his side remaining unbeaten in the group stages, and look to have a great chance to progress against BATE Borisov.

The Gunners will likely make changes for the first leg with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Mohamed Elneny set to gain valuable playing time, whilst the Premier League side will also have the in-form Alexandre Lacazette to call upon if needed.

Arsenal have kept clean sheets in their last five Europa League games, and a win to nil looks on the cards in Belarus, priced at 2.40.

Giroud can prove the difference

Chelsea, the 5.00 favourites for this season’s Europa League, take on Malmo on Thursday night, with Maurizio Sarri’s men looking to bounce back after a 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City.

With the new season of the Swedish Allsvenskan yet to get underway, Malmo last played a competitive match in December, so fitness is likely to play a significant factor in the first leg.

Chelsea’s strength in depth has been very apparent so far in this competition, with the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi making their mark in the group stages.

Olivier Giroud is another player who has caught the eye, scoring four goals in his last three Europa League games.

With the recent arrival of Gonzalo Higuain hampering his chances of regular playing time, the French international will be eager to impress and at 2.20, looks a very tasty bet as an anytime goalscorer.

Celtic crowd to roar their side to victory

Celtic Park on a European night always produces a unique atmosphere and Thursday will be no different, as the Scottish champions host Valencia.

Brendan Rodgers can take comfort from the fact that Celtic have won six of their last eight home games in European competition and with their vociferous support behind them, they will pose a significant threat to the visitors.

Valencia have had a difficult season so far, lacking confidence and consistency, especially away from home, where they have won just one of their last nine matches in all competitions.

At 3.45, Celtic look the value bet here to take a lead into the second leg at the Mestalla. 

Sporting to add to Villarreal’s woes

When it comes to facing Spanish opposition in European competition, it is fair to say that Sporting Lisbon do not have the best of records.

The Portuguese side have come out second best in their last six two-legged encounters against Spanish opposition in all competitions, but with Villarreal as their next opponents, that run could be about to change.

Villarreal come into this Europa League tie in awful form, with no wins in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

Sitting second bottom of the La Liga table, their focus and priority will be on trying to avoid relegation, so the Europa League only serves as a distraction.

Sporting Lisbon are 2.30 to win the first leg, and having lost just one of their last eight European games at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, they look one of the most reliable bets of the night.