Five Europa League play-offs tips starring West Ham and Fenerbahce
Lee Gormley | August 17, 2016
Five Europa League play-offs tips
The Europa League play-offs kick-off this midweek, as teams from across the continent aim to edge closer to a spot in the group stage of the competition and avoid falling at the final European hurdle.
Among those sides vying for a place in Europe’s secondary competition are Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United, after recently starting their Premier League campaign in defeat, while Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Belgian force Anderlecht also star.
So, ahead of the action on Thursday night, Coral outline five Europa League play-offs tips for punters to enjoy during the many first leg fixtures taking place…
West Ham to bag three or more goals
The Hammers got their domestic campaign off to a disappointing start as they lost out to London rivals Chelsea on Monday night, as Diego Costa struck late to hand them defeat in their top-flight season opener.
Although, next against Romanian minnows Astra Giurgiu, West Ham will be confident of bouncing back and taking a huge step closer to the Europa League group stage with victory in this first leg clash at the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici.
Bilic’s capital club downed Domzale in their last European encounter on home soil, earning a comfortable 3-0 triumph, and they are a promising 13/5 to once again net three or more goals in their latest outing.
Panathinaikos to triumph and both sides score
Greek outfit Panathinaikos will enter their home clash with Danish opponents Brondby on the back of a comfortable tie against AIK Solna, having earned a 1-0 home and 2-0 away victory in the previous qualifying round.
Meanwhile, the visitors for this match-up have already begun their domestic campaign and currently sit second in the Danish Superliga, after two wins and as many draws from their opening four league outings.
Though Brondby have shown in recent outings that they can be prone to leaking at the back, making a more fresher Panathinaikos side 10/3 to prevail with both teams getting on the scoresheet in Athens.
Slavia Prague to hold Anderlecht to stalemate
Both Czech Republic side Slavia Prague and Belgian giants Anderlecht have already started their respective domestic seasons, but neither have found their feet yet, with plenty of draws occurring so far.
The hosts will enter proceedings on the back of four successive stalemates in both Europe and the Czech First League, while the visitors have already drawn twice this season too. Another sharing of the spoils in this first leg therefore looks likely, so back a draw to happen at 21/10.
Fenerbahce to squash Grasshopper to nil
Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce will have been devastated to miss out on the Champions League, having been toppled by Monaco in the previous qualifying round, but they can make up for that disappointment by overcoming Grasshopper in their Europa League play-off.
In this first leg meeting, the Yellow Canaries, who are now under the management of former Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat, are 7/5 to topple their Swiss opposition without conceding a goal, with the visitors having lost their last four consecutive games.
Shakhtar to dispatch three or more in Istanbul
Having been stunned by Young Boys in their earlier Champions League qualifier, Ukraine titans Shakhtar Donetsk will now see themselves as one of the front runners for Europa League supremacy this season but must first get past Istanbul Basaksehir.
The Miners, who finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League last term, have won five of their six games so far this campaign, while their opponents have only managed two successive draws in Europe.
Therefore, a talented Shakhtar outfit can be backed at 18/5 to fire in three or more goals on their visit to Turkey, having done so in three of their six matches to date this term.