Home Sports Football Europa League Expect tough start for the Toffees
Expect tough start for the Toffees

Expect tough start for the Toffees

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The Europa League group stages begin on Thursday and the two games involving English teams are arguably the highlights.

Everton are one of those to feature in the early batch of kick-offs when they take on Atalanta. The 43/20 Toffees were woeful at the weekend in their 3-0 defeat to Tottenham and Ronald Koeman has some questions to answer. Their rivals won 2-1 at home to Sassuolo and seem to be one of Europe’s current success stories.

Boss Gian Piero Gasperini is a wily operator and he could well guide his side to victory in their first European game this century.

Arsenal are also in action for the first time for a long time on a Thursday night, as they welcome Cologne to the Emirates. The Gunners should be amongst those challenging for the trophy in May but Arsene Wenger has hinted that this competition will not be anywhere near his top priorities.

A home win at 10/31 should be on the cards, though, and the same outcome should also come from Marseille’s (4/11) clash with Konyaspor, Real Sociedad’s (2/7) home game with Rosenborg and the game between Villarreal (4/17) and FC Astana.

Those eyeing the value should also look at the 7/5 given to Copenhagen to beat temperamental travellers Lokomotiv Moscow, while Rijeka are also a handy 5/4 to beat AEK Athens.

There are also some very interesting prices available for away teams, most notably the 6/5 for Nice to win at Zulte Waregem. Les Aiglons smashed Monaco 4-0 at the weekend and their price looks extremely generous.

Athletic Bilbao could also get a result at 7/4 when they travel to the equally interesting 33/20 Hertha Berlin. Both can beat anyone on their day but the greater quality running throughout the Basque outfit suggests they might just shade the clash at the Olympic Stadium.

Lazio (5/6) outclassed AC Milan at the weekend and can also get the better of Vitesse Arnhem, while at 10/21, 2008 winners Zenit St Petersburg should have no issues against Vardar Skopje, despite the Macedonians eliminating Fenerbahce in the last round.

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Jack Ogalbe Jack has been a sports betting writer for over a decade and has an excellent strike rate with his suggestions. A semi-professional footballer, runner and cyclist, his sports knowledge is second to none and he knows all the stats and facts you need when considering a punt.