Game week four of the Europa League takes place tonight with Arsenal and Chelsea both able to progress to the last-16 in the competition.
Our football betting expert looks ahead to the action and gives us his best bets for both matches.
Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon
Arsenal fought to a hard-earned 1-0 away win at the Estádio José Alvalade after Danny Welbeck’s 77th minute strike was enough to claim all three points for the Gunners.
But they shouldn’t take that win for granted, and Unai Emery won’t want to rest on his laurels. He’ll be keen to keep up the good momentum he’s built at the club.
Arsenal haven’t lost a game since August when they were narrowly defeated 3-2 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
As the old saying goes, ‘winning breeds confidence’, and another three points tonight would signal that Arsenal mean serious business in the Europa League this season.
The North London side are 1/4 to see of the Portuguese side at the Emirates tonight.
While Sporting Lisbon were dealt a blow two weeks ago when Arsenal grabbed a late win, they won’t have any time to dwell on it and know they need a result to keep daylight between themselves and Vorskla Poltava.
Jose Peseiro’s side have shown inconsistent form in domestic and European action, losing to Portimonense in the Primeira Liga, Arsenal in the Europa League and Estoril in the Taca da Liga.
They did manage to secure a 2-1 win away at Santa Clara before heading to north London for this one, but will be up against it when they face an in-form Arsenal side.
The Lisbon team are underdogs at 17/2 to spring a surprise at the Emirates this evening.
It was a tight affair a few weeks ago, but that late win will give the Gunners confidence, and I expect them to win this one comfortably.
Unai Emery has instilled belief in his squad, and they are playing with that characteristic Arsenal flair.
I think they will win both halves, but fancy going for the Gunners to win 2-0 at 11/2.
BATE Borisov vs Chelsea
Chelsea were emphatic in victory against BATE Borisov at the Bridge a few weeks back. Perhaps more satisfying for Blues supporters was the performance of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who bagged a hat-trick against the Belarusian outfit.
The Stamford Bridge side can qualify for the knockout stages with a win, and you’d have to be brave to back against them doing so.
They have scored 10 goals in three games in domestic action since last facing BATE, and with Hazard, Loftus-Cheek and Willian all in among the goals recently, it could be a long night ahead for the home side.
The Blues are 3/10 favourites for this one.
BATE Borisov are rooted to the bottom of the table of group L, but they remain on the same points at PAOK and Vidi so won’t have lost faith just yet.
While they have been in good domestic form, they have yet to follow up on their opening win away to Vidi, and any sort of result tonight would be a bonus for the Belarusian champions.
Alyaksey Baha is likely to set his team up to be hard to beat tonight, but they are 8/1 to spring a surprise and beat the winners of the 2013 competition.
This one should be straight forward for Chelsea, who are still unbeaten in all competitions this season. They will look to beat the underdogs tonight and focus on Premier League action.
I’ll be backing Chelsea -2 at 13/8 tomorrow.
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