Profit from LIVE trading on Betfair

This is the Europa League and it is such a tough competition to research. This is the first of two legs today and tactics will play a part, with the away goal rule in force. I will just look at the countries these teams come from and their recent Europa League form. Do remember that the odds provided by the market makers are simply a big fat-assed guess! There is no form to work with, no way to gauge the ability of 2 teams who rarely meet. If I am online I will monitor the inplay stats but historically I find Europa League First Leg matches so tough to decipher.

18:00 - Apollon Limassol v FC Midtjylland - 2.18 Apollon

  • Cyprus v Denmark.
  • 2 wins v Zaria and a win and a loss (but winning over 2 legs) v Aberdeen for Apollon.
  • Both teams have scored in FC Midtjylland's last 6 Europa League matches, winning all bar 1 match.
  • I personally think FC Midtjylland has goals in them.
  • Apollon are unbeaten in 6 home Europa League matches. 4-4-2 goals scored by FC Midtjylland in their last 3 away matches in the Europa League.
  • In-play stats will be my main focus but I will nod slightly towards the away side from Denmark. Lay Apollon if Apollon scores first? FC Midt keeps scoring and conceding.

18:00 - BATE Borisov v Oleksandria - 1.97 BATE

  • Belarus v Ukraine.
  • BATE has been in the Europa League 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016 but are yet to win a match.
  • At home BATE had a good record in the Europa League. 3 consecutive draws at home 2011, 2013 and 2016.
  • Oleksandria has played only 4 Europa League matches 0-0 and 1-0 win v Astra.
  • Tough to call given the Poor BATE overall record and Olek's lack of Europa League form.

18:00 - Dinamo Zagreb v Skenderbeu - 1.28 Dinamo

  • Croatia v Albania.
  • Dinamo Zagreb were last in the Europa League in 2014.
  • 4 wins and a loss at home for Dinamo Zagreb in this competition.
  • Only 1 loss in 6 for Skenderbeu.
  • Tough to gauge these 2 teams. Dinamo Zagreb at home in the league are superb. Is this home strength something transferable to the Europa League?

18:00 - FK Krasnodar v Crvena Zvezda - 1.64 FK

  • Russia v Serbia.
  • Crvena are unbeaten in 7 Europa League matches and beat Sparta Prague in wins to nil.
  • FK scored and conceded in 4 of their last 5 Europa League matches, winning their last 2 v Lyngby.

18:45 - Hafnarfjordur v Braga - 1.75 Braga

  • Icelandic Hafn has recently been in the Champions League. They were last in the Europa League in 2015.
  • 3 consecutive away score draws for Braga in this competition.
  • Will Braga continue and score that away goal? Is that a ready angle? Braga came from behind to win in the league at the weekend. A sign we can hope they score if conceding first today?

19:00 - PAOK v Ostersunds FK - 1.52 PAOK

  • Greece v Sweden.
  • 1 loss in 6 for PAOK in the Europa League came v Schalke.
  • Schalke and Qarabag recent victors at PAOK. Is Ostersunds as strong as these 2?
  • Galatasary and Fola Esch are the 2 teams Ostersunds has beaten. Quite impressed regarding Galatasary but as ever in this equivalent of the English League Cup, were Galatasary one of those teams who field weakened sides?
  • The market sides strongly with PAOK today.

19:00 - Vardar Skopje v Fenerbahce - 1.68 Fenerbahce

  • Madeconia v Turkey.
  • Vardar was last in the Europa League in 2007 and could not win a match.
  • Fenerbahce has only 2 defeats in 8 matches in this competition, one was v Man Utd.
  • Little is known about Vardar. Fenerbahce has scored and conceded in their last 3 Europa League matches without losing. This suggests they could score if going behind.

19:15 - Plzen v AEK Larnaca - 1.67 Plzen

  • Czech v Cyprus.
  • Plzen was in the Champions League last season. Their Europa League record is poor with a solitary win last match 3-2 v Austria Vienna
  • They have scored and conceded in 6 of their last 7 matches.
  • AEK are unbeaten so far this 2017 campaign but obviously the level rises now.

19:30 - Ludogorets v FK Suduva - 1.2 Ludogorets

  • Bulgaria v Lithuania.
  • Ludogorets do normally ply their trade in the Champions League. They failed to beat Valencia or Copenhagen in the Europa League latest.
  • I really cannot get a handle on Suduva. This exemplifies the Europa League. Teams from countries we know nothing about.

19:30 - Panathinaikos v Athletic Bilbao - 2.22 Ath Bilbao

  • Greece v Spain. Another conundrum. Do Ath Bilbao take the Europa League as seriously as, say, Atl Madrid or Sevilla? Or will we see a peripheral Ath Bilbao side?
  • Greece's Panathanaikos are likely to find it difficult if this is a Bilbao first team. Pana have failed to beat Standard Liege, Ajax and Spaniards Celta Vigo.
  • In 6 of the last 8 Europa League matches for Ath Bilbao, at least one team scored 2 goals. We tend to see 2 goals total minimum in their Europa League campaigns.

19:30 - SCR Altach v Maccabi Tel Aviv - 2.76 SCR

  • Hmm, how on earth do you evaluate the relative strengths of an Austrian side and an Israeli side?
  • The market has given up, quoting a 'favourite' at odds of 2.76.
  • SCR are unbeaten in 7 Europa League matches, never conceding 2 goals in any of those matches.
  • 7 consecutive wins for Maccabi Tel Aviv.sees 5 clean sheets in 6 matches.
  • Is this a match to back 0-0 pre match in and hope the defences shine tonight?

19:45 - AC Milan v Shkendija - 1.18 AC Milan

  • Like Everton AC Milan were thoroughly professional in a 0-1 and 2-0 win v CS U.
  • Macedonian side Shkendija ordinarily will not land a blow but we have a question mark regarding the AC Milan attitude to the Europa League.
  • Will we see a 1st team out? The market, at any rate,expects an easy night for AC Milan. They may take a while to score.

19:45 - Ajax v Rosenborg - 1.32 Ajax

  • 2 well know sides from Holland and Norway and in Rosenborg we have a side scoring for fun domestically. We also see a far more match-fit Rosenborg who are well into their season.
  • Only one draw for Ajax in their recent Europa League encounters. I must say that this is an Ajax side more used to Champions League football.
  • Ajax met with, and lost to, Lyon and Man Utd in the Europa League earlier this year.They were competitive v Copenhagen and Schalke.
  • Rosenborg quite simply find the Europa League a step too far. 6 defeats in their last 7 matches in this competition.
  • As with Everton, AC Milan and other major sides, we should hope that Ajax play a first team. We should expect a competitive home side, given Rosenborg look out of their depth outside of Norway.

19:45 - Club Brugge v AEK Athens - 1.83 Club

  • Club Brugge has tended to frequent the Champions League but never win. AEK Athens lasted only 2 legs v CSKA before being dumped out of the Champions League.
  • Both sides have wholly unspectacular Europa League form so it's in-play stats for me here.

19:45 - Domzale v Marseille - 1.52 Marseille

  • Slovenian side Domzale takes on the French side Marseille.
  • No draw yet for Domzale in recent Europa League matches. 6 consecutive wins at home but of course it is questionable whether the sides they have beaten are on a par with Marseille.
  • Marseille's only loss in the Europa League last season was v Ath Bilbao.
  • A cursory nod towards Domzale's home form but note the market is very sweet on Marseille. Remember what I said above though, this is a big guess! There is nothing really to work with.

20:05 - Everton v Hajduk Split - 1.26 Everton

  • 2 1-0 wins for Everton in their last match. Very professional and both 2nd half wins.
  • Split are a Croatian side.
  • This is all about the team that Everton put out. Will they respect this competition. Other Premiership sides have put out weaker sides in this competitions - Tottenham, Man Utd spring to mind. They don't seem to have the burning desire to win this competition.
  • A first team from Everton will win.