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Europa League predictions, betting tips & match previews: Best bets for Thursday’s Europa League group games

Leigh Copson 11 Sep 2017
Ciro Immobile of Lazio (credit: Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

Europa League predictions for Thursday night. AC Milan, Lazio and Athletic Bilbao are among the clubs kicking off their Europa League group campaigns on Thursday, but who will be victorious on opening night? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Apollon Limassol v Lyon (18:00 BST)


Lyon have made a solid start to their 2017/18 campaign, going five games unbeaten in France’s top flight. They ended a sequence of consecutive draws with a 2-1 win at home to Guingamp at the weekend and they should make it back-to-back success on Thursday night. Apollon are unbeaten in five and did beat a couple of decent sides in qualifying – Aberdeen and Midjtylland – but Lyon are clearly the best opposition they have faced so far and that should be clear for all to see here.


Austria Vienna v AC Milan (18:00 BST)


AC Milan made a flying start to their season by reeling off six straight wins in all competitions, but that streak was brought to a shuddering halt at the weekend when they crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Lazio. However, that has not knocked my confidence in backing them here. Prior to that loss in Rome, Milan had out-scored their opposition 15-1, so I suggest backing them to run out comfortable winners against an Austria Vienna side that were held to a home draw at the weekend and lost at home in their final qualifying outing.


Hertha Berlin v Athletic Bilbao (20:05 BST)


Athletic Bilbao have made an impressive start to their 2017/18 season by going seven games unbeaten in all competitions, winning five of them, and they go into this match having won each of their last four games and having not conceded a goal in each of their last four outings. That is a fine run that gives me confidence to back them to take something from this match, but I expect they will have to settle for a share of the spoils. Hertha Berlin are a tough nut to crack at the Olympiastadion.


Marseille v Konyaspor (20:05 BST)


Having successfully negotiated the qualifying stages of the Europa League and won their first two league games, it is fair to say that the wheels have come off for Marseille. Rudi Garcia’s side have won just one of their last five competitive fixtures and come into this match on the back of consecutive defeats, scoring just two goals while conceding nine. They desperately need to get their season back on track and I expect them to do it by beating a Konyasport side that have lost three of their last four competitive fixtures. 


Vitesse v Lazio (20:05 BST)


Lazio have made a thoroughly impressive start to the season and will be aiming to make it five competitive games without loss when they visit the Netherlands to face Vitesse. The side from the Italian capital have already beaten Juventus in the Super Cup and just this past weekend they walloped AC Milan 4-1. In this sort of form I have to fancy their chances of an away win over a Vitesse side that have already lost at home this season, but a lack of clean sheets for Lazio means both teams could find the back of the net.


Zulte Waregem v Nice (20:05 BST)


After a pretty miserable start to the season, Nice exploded into life at the weekend as they hammered French champions Monaco 4-0. That will have given them a massive boost after a run of five defeats in their previous six games and coach Lucien Favre will want his side to build up a head of steam by following up that win with a victory in Europa on Thursday night. And despite their underwhelming form so far this season, I like their chances. Zulte Waregem have won only three of their seven competitive games and have failed to win either of their last two home games.



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