RB Leipzig v Salzburg Thursday 20 September, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
It's a game that some football purists loathe, and a meeting that UEFA were probably hoping wouldn't happen for a while longer, but Red Bull-backed Leipzig and Salzburg are finally locking horns in European competition. The clubs have demonstrated to UEFA's satisfaction that they are sufficiently independent, so this intriguing clash can go ahead.
Leipzig have made a very shaky start to the campaign, but it doesn't help that they have already racked up ten games this season. They only picked up their first Bundesliga win of the season at the weekend, edging out Hannover 3-2 in a chaotic clash. Timo Wernerretuned to form with a brace (his first goals of the season), and both of those strikes were teed up by Swedish string-puller Emil Forsberg. Defensively, RBL look very vulnerable, and coach Ralf Rangnick admits he hasn't yet got the right balance between attack and defence.
Salzburg got to the semi-finals of this competition last term, and there is a determination to prove they are more than just a feeder club for their German brothers. Another failure in the Champions League qualifiers was a bitter blow, but now there is an opportunity to make a big statement.
I'm sorely tempted to lay Leipzig at 1.88 given their current form, but instead I'll go for Over 3.5 Goals at 2.60. Six of Leipzig's ten games have featured four goals or more, while Salzburg's last four outings in all competitions have seen an Over 3.5 Goals bet land.
Old foes may produce a thriller
Celtic v Rosenborg Thursday 20 September, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
If it's true that familiarity breeds contempt, Celtic and Rosenborg must despise each other by now. They have already met twice this season in the Champions League qualifiers, a tie that the Scottish champions won 3-1 on aggregate, and they also did battle in last season's UCL qualifiers.
The previous meetings between the sides have generally been tight affairs, but Celtic's 3-1 win over the Norwegian champions at Parkhead in late July suggests to me that we could be in for an entertaining game. Four of Rosenborg's last seven games have featured at least three goals, and they put five goals past Shkendjia over two legs in the UEL's playoff round.
Celtic are in the unfamiliar position of trailing Scottish Premiership leaders Hearts by five points, and they were held to a goalless draw at St Mirren at the weekend. That kind of form might put you off backing the hosts in the Match Odds market at 1.51, so you might instead look at Over 2.5 Goals at 1.84 - they have scored three goals in three of their four European home games this term.
Turkish giants to start in style
Besiktas v Sarpsborg Thursday 20 September, 17:55 Live on BT Sport Extra
The Europa League throws up some amazing stories, such as Swedish side Ostersunds beating Arsenal at the Emirates last season in their very first European campaign, having risen from the fourth tier under inspirational coach Graham Potter. There's now a similar journey being undertaken by unheralded Norwegian side Sarpsborg, who have only existed in their current form for ten years.
Sarpsborg have reached the group stage of the Europa League at their very first attempt, taking big scalps like St Gallen, Rijeka and Maccabi Tel Aviv along the way. In many ways, they have already exceeded expectations, and any success now is an enormous bonus.
This trip to Istanbul to face Besiktas represents a huge step up, and although Sarpsborg have produced some eye-catching results, they should fall short by some distance at the Vodafone Arena. BJK coach Senol Gunes tends to take this tournament pretty seriously, and a strong team is expected. Although Besiktas were seconds away from elimination against Austrian side Linz in the qualifiers, they were much better against Partizan in the playoff round, winning 3-0 in Turkey. Given that Besiktas have taken ten points from five league games in a decent start, a similar scoreline here would be no surprise.
Danish delight on the cards
Copenhagen v Zenit Thursday 20 September, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
This UEL showdown brings together the current league leaders in Denmark and Russia, and I fancy we could see a few goals in the Danish capital.
Although Copenhagen ground out a pair of goalless draws against Atalanta in the playoff round before progressing on penalties, most of their games this term have been quite lively. Nine of their seven matches this term have featured at least three goals.
Zenit have had a rollercoaster ride already in the Europa League. They squeaked past Norwegian side Molde 4-3 on aggregate, and in the previous round they overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Dinamo Minsk. Six of their last nine games in all competitions have seen an Over 2.5 Goals bet land, so that's what we'll go for.
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Leipzig v Salzburg at 2.60
Back Over 2.5 Goals in Celtic v Rosenborg at 1.84
Back Besiktas -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Sarpsborg at 1.81