Game week three of the Europa League takes place on Thursday night, with Arsenal and Chelsea both looking to continue their strong starts in the competition.
Our football tipster looks ahead to the action and gives us his best bets for both matches.
Chelsea vs BATE Borisov
Chelsea will look to continue their good form in the Europa League as they get set to host BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have a 100% record in the competition following an opening 1-0 win away to PAOK Salonika and a repeat of that result at home to MOL Vidi.
While Maurizio Sarri’s side haven’t set the heather alight in the competition so far, their form in the Premier League has been impressive and they are likely to take that scoring form into European competition sooner rather than later.
Belarusian side BATE Borisov know that a result away to Chelsea will get them back en route to qualification following a 4-1 thrashing at home to second-placed PAOK.
A 2-0 victory away to MOL Vidi set the Belarusian champions off to a good start, but PAOK are now in the driving seat as the two sides look set to battle it out for second place.
BATE are leading the way in domestic competition, but Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is a different ball game and they are 19/1 to record a shock result in the capital.
This one should be straightforward for Chelsea, who are still unbeaten in all competitions this season. They will look to qualify as early as possible in order to focus their efforts on domestic action.
They may choose to give a few fringe players a run out tomorrow night, but if they do they should still have more than enough in the tank to see past BATE.
I’ll be backing Chelsea at 2/15.
Sporting Lisbon vs Arsenal
This one is probably the most exciting fixture in game week three as Sporting Lisbon host Arsenal at the Estádio José Alvalade in Portugal’s capital.
With both sides on maximum points so far, whoever wins this one will take poll position in Group E.
The Gunners have cruised to victory in their first two group matches, winning 4-2 against Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates and 3-0 away to FK Qarabag.
Unai Emery’s side are also on a ten game winning streak in all competitions, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who notched two in the first group game, also comes into this one having scored a league double against Leicester on Monday.
Arsenal can be backed at evens heading into this one.
Sporting Lisbon are also out to maintain their unbeaten start in the competition. However their 2-1 win against Vorskla Poltava came in the dying embers of the match as they scored in the 90th and 93rd minute to break Ukrainian hearts.
Their domestic form has been indifferent as they sit in fifth place and four points off the pace, but their European form shows promise as they look to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 2011.
Jose Peseiro’s side have a strong record on home soil in Europe – they have won their last three matches at the Estadio Jose Alvalade without conceding, and going further back it is just two defeats in 28 matches.
The Portuguese giants are 14/5 to inflict a first European defeat upon Unai Emery at Arsenal.
This one looks very close to call, but despite Arsenal’s recent form of late, I think they will have to settle for a point in Portugal.
Sporting Lisbon have made their home ground a fortress in Europe, and they will be conscious that any slip up could allow Vorskla or Qarabag to make up ground on them.