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3 key storylines in this week’s Europa League games

Arsenal and Everton are the Premier League representatives

The Europa League means different things to different clubs. Some see it as a chance for glory, others view it as a potential route into the Champions League and many are just thrilled to be taking part in European competition.

Those contrasting perspectives set up some fascinating encounters. And the Coral News Team have taken a look at three of the biggest storylines of this week’s fixtures.

Can Everton get a much-needed win?

Everton’s season has been a disaster so far. They’re 16th in the Premier League and bottom of their Europa League group. Ronald Koeman’s side were humbled 3-0 against Atalanta in their opening game. Then they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by 10-man Apollon Limassol.

They host Lyon at Goodison Park in a must-win game on Thursday night. Everton are slight favourites at 8/5 but it won’t be easy. Lyon beat Monaco 3-2 at the weekend and are 13/8.

Wayne Rooney saved Everton from defeat with a late penalty against Brighton & Hove Albion in their last outing. He’s likely to be the Toffees’ biggest goal threat as a 13/8 Anytime Goalscorer.

A win isn’t only vital for the Toffees’ European hopes, but potentially for Ronald Koeman’s future too. He’s already under pressure after a run of two wins in nine games. With games against Arsenal and Chelsea on the horizon, it could get even worse.

Will Arsenal respond to Watford setback?

Speaking of Arsenal, they’re also in need of a victory when they face Crvena Zvezda. The Gunners have won both of their group games so far. But they need to get back on track after Saturday’s damaging 2-1 defeat against Watford.

Arsene Wenger’s side had been on a run of four straight wins before losing 2-1 to Watford last weekend.

The defeat itself wasn’t as bad as the manner of it. They crumbled when they came under pressure in the second-half.

Troy Deeney scored the equaliser and claimed Arsenal weren’t up for the battle after the game. He wasn’t wrong judging by the evidence at Vicarage Road.

Arsenal now have the chance to bounce back in Belgrade. They’re 3/4 favourites but can’t afford to be complacent. Wenger will field a rotated side who will face a fierce atmosphere.

Theo Walcott is in line for a rare start this season. The forward bagged a brace last time out against BATE Borisov. He’s 7/2 as First Goalscorer here.

Much More Needed from Milan

AC Milan are second-favourites to win the Europa League this season at 7/1, only behind 6/1 Arsenal.

But they’re going to need to improve drastically if they’re to have any chance of winning silverware. The club hasn’t seen much return from their extravagant summer spending so far this season.

After losing in the Milan derby last weekend, Milan are 10th in Serie A. They’ve lost four of their eight league games and have the joint-worst defensive record in the top half.

The club are desperate to secure a return to the Champions League this term. As a result, it’s no surprise that Vincenzo Montella is already being tipped for the sack.

Montella’s side have been better in Europe so far. They’re top of Group D with six points out of six. They take on AEK Athens at home next as odds-on 4/9 favourites. A win would be very useful, though there are still many more questions to answer.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing