It is the Europa League First leg today. We need to assume a positive attitude from the elite teams such as Atl Madrid, Dortmund,Milan, Arsenal and Lazio. I have researched the matches as best as I can.
They are best played via the in-play stats, with an eye on the pre-match favourites, particularly when they are playing at home. I will do another shorties review video at DRT Facebook and do another list of today's shorties. I do like this method, it is a short cut way to DRT without the need for pre-match research.
18:00 - Atlético Madrid v Lokomotiv Moskva - 1.26 Atl Madrid
- This is the first of 2 legs.
- Alt Madrid were lastly in the Europa League in 2013 so there is little to work with. Atl Madrid beat FC Copenhagen home and away in 2018.
- Lokomotiv Moscow have gone through a group stage to get here. They also played FC Copenhagen in a draw and a win. 4 consecutive wins for Lokomotiv v FC Copenhagen, Zlin, and Nice (twice).
- So, it is tough to know Atl Madrid's attitude here. In 2011 and 2012, Atl Madrid went on a 15 match Europa League winning run. Check team news but Atl Madrid at full strength should win this evening. Moscow are likelier stronger at home.
18:00 - CSKA Moskva v Olympique Lyonnais - 2.72 Lyon
- The market cannot split these 2 teams in this first of two legs.
- Lyon had a good winning run in the Europa League but as ever the form is muddied. We know that Everton fielded a weakened side.
- Lyon have a reputation for goals, typically 2+ goals in recent French Ligue 1 matches.
- I have no angles here though at all.
18:00 - Borussia Dortmund v Salzburg - 1.56 Dortmund
- 3 consecutive score draws for Dortmund in all competitions may be a sequence we can take on today?
- Dortmund are now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions.
- At home in all competitions, Dortmund are unbeaten in 7 matches, 2-3-0-2-2-3-1 goals scored.
- Dortmund scored and conceded in their last 5 Europa League matches.
- Dortmund do not have any ultra recent Europa League form, last playing in 2016. In 2018 they drew with Liverpool and beat Atalanta.
- 7 wins and a draw for Salzburg since their winter break sees them in good nick domestically.
- The only match they conceded 2 goals in in that run was v Sociedad in this competition.
- Salzburg have been at it since August 2017 in the Europa League and remain unbeaten, the most eye-catching results coming v Sociedad and Marseille.
- I would look to take on any late 1-1 here. I do like Dortmund's recent scoring and run and acknowledge that Dortmund come from the better quality league.
- Enough to lay Red Bull if Red Bull scores first?
18:00 - Milan v Arsenal - 2.2 AC Milan
- This is the first of 2 legs in the Europa League.
- For me, Milan are the form side here. Arsenal we know are wobbling.
- Milan are unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions.
- 7 clean sheets in 8 matches for Milan sees them clicking in defence too.
- 5 clean sheets in 6 matches for Milan at home.
- Milan are unbeaten inall bar one of their infrequent visits to the Europa League. They were unbeaten in 2017 and in 2018 have only played, and beaten, Ludogorets.
- Milan are unbeaten at home in the Europa League although they have not played that often and that frequently in the Europa League.
- Arsenal are on a 4 match losing run. 6 losses and 2 wins in 8 matches.
- Only 2 wins in 11 away for Arsenal in all competitions is poor stuff.
- Arsenal lost to Koln and Ostersunds in their 2017/2018 campaign. The loss to Ostersunds saw Arsenal win over the 2 legs so I would not place too much significance on that defeat.
- This is a huge leap for both sides in the Europa League.
- Do remember it is the first of 2 legs and therefore a small loss is not worrisome. There is a second bite of the cherry.
20:05 - Lazio v Dynamo Kyiv - 1.45 Lazio
- If Lazio revert to their goalscoring ways of Italian Seria A, they really should blow Dynamo Kiev away in this first home leg.
- Only 3 wins in 10 matches in all competitions for Lazio is a cloud.
- Lazio failed to score in their last 2 home matches v Milan in the Cup and Juventus in the league.
- Lazio scored in 7 of their last 8 Europa League matches. The teams they lost to recently, they beat earlier in their group. These recent defeats may have occured with knowledge that Lazio would progress out of the group.
- 3 wins and a draw at home in the Europa League for Lazio.
- Dynamo Kiev are coming off a Winter Break so may be still a little ring rusty. Since the Winter Break, they drew and then beat AEK Athens. At the weekend, they came from behind twice, domestically, to snatch a 3-2 win.
- No win in 6 away but 3 of those matches were Winter Break friendlies.
- If Lazio are up for this match, and their forward line clicks, I expect a home win today. Lazio do tend to score in their Europa League matches.
20:05 - RB Leipzig v Zenit - 1.73 Leipzig
- 3 defeats and a draw Leipzig last 4 in all competitions needs improvement to take on a Zenit side who dispatched of Celtic with ease.
- No win in 3 at home for Leipzig saw recent defeats v Napoli and Koln and scoring 0-1-1. Leipzig did have a domestic reputation for 2 goals at least at home per game.
- This is Leipzig's first foray in the Europa League after an unsuccessful first campaign in the Champions League.
- There is nothing to work with.
- Zenit are only 3 matches into their post Winter Break return, seeing 2 matches v Celtic and 1-0 loss , 3-0 win at home and a 0-0 last match in the league. Ring Rusty?
- Only 1 win in 8 away for Zenit was against Sociedad in the Europa League.
- A messy match this one. Leipzig stop scoring their traditional 2 matches and have only 1 game in the Europa League. Zenit are coming off a Winter Break.
- A watching brief for me.
20:05 - Olympique Marseille v Athletic Club - 1.88 Marseille
- An interesting match and for me, Marseille are, at least, the domestically in-form side. 3rd in the French Ligue 1.
- 3 defeats and a draw for Marseille last 4 in all competitions, the 3 losses came away.
- Only 1 home loss since 1st March 2017 for Marseille in all competitions, says it all.
- Only 2 wins in 7 Europa League matches for Marseille still sees them at this stage. Their strength has been defence, conceding 0-1-0-0-1-1-1-1-0-0-1.
- 4 clean sheets in 5 at home for Marseille in the Europa League.
- Only 2 wins in 12 for Bilbao.
- 2-2-1-2-2 conceded away last 5 for Bilbao.
- 4 wins in 5 in the Europa League saw Bilbao deal with what was put infront of them in the group stage.
- Unbeaten in 6 away, I am not sure of this form for Bilbao as compared with Marseille.
- I think Marseille could edge this encounter despite Bilbao's apparent good away form. If Marseille can continue to keep teams from scoring that 2nd goal, lay Bilbao if Bilbao scores first.
20:05 - Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen - 1.45 Sporting
- Only 2 losses in 7 matches came v Porto for Sporting.
- Only 1 loss at home for Sporting was v Barcelona (since 29th July 2017).
- 10 clean sheets in 11 at home for Sporting.
- Recent losses for Sporting came v Bayer Leverkusen. 1-3 and 3-3 v Astana recently in the Europa League for Sporting.
- Only 2 losses at home in the Europa league for Sporting since September 2010. But the last Europa League appearance was in 2016.
- Only 3 away losses for Plzen since May 2017 but let's remember that was mostly in the Czech league.
- 4 wins and a draw for Plzen last 5 Europa League matches. 3 2-0 wins in 4 matches.
- Only 1 win in 11 away matches in the Europa league for Plzen.
- On form at home, Sporting have an excellent record and their clean sheets are eyecatching. On that basis, I will side with the home team in this first leg.