Rosenborg v Celtic Thursday, 17:55 Live on BT Sport
Troillongan looking to get off the mark
The penultimate match of this season's Europa League group stage and Rosenborg are looking to put their first point on the board when hosting Celtic at Lerkendal Stadion in a late afternoon kick-off. Troillongan have played four, lost four at this level with just three goals scored and a dozen conceded. They will finish bottom of Group B and that will be no less than they deserve.
Followers of the home side have had nothing to cheer so far and will bow out at the earliest opportunity, but they can still have a say in who does go through and that should be enough to hold the interest of Rini Coolen's men. Despite their poor form on the continent, Rosenborg sit top of the Norwegian Eliteserien with a record 19-7-4, although they were held to a 1-1 draw at this venue on Saturday.
All or nothing for Celtic
The Bhoys rescued their chances of playing knockout football with a stunning win over Bundesliga contenders RB Leipzig in round four, taking their competition tally to two wins against two defeats. Tierney showed his class and maturity to net an early goal at Parkhead, before The Bulls got level on 78 minutes through an Augustin equaliser. The fightback was short-lived, Edouard living up to his price tag with a winner just 14 seconds later.
Boss Brendan Rodgers breathed a sigh of relief but will be desperate to see his boys build on that result and force a finish in the league. Beat bottom club Rosenborg and they will ensure, at the very least, they are in contention for second place going into the final round. Fans couldn't have asked for much more after seeing The Hoops take three points from the first nine available to them.
Bhoys lead the head-to-head
Rosenborg and Celtic are certainly no strangers to each other and Thursday's match will be the 10th recorded competitive meeting between the sides. The Scots lead the head-to-head stats by a score of 6-1 with two games ending in a draw, both 0-0 when clashing on Champions League duty. The Hoops collected a hard-fought 1-0 in Glasgow back in September - Griffiths making the difference - and that followed a 3-1 at the same venue in July in the Champions League.
That form isn't wasted on punters and the away day has been priced as favourite with 1.73trading on the Betfair Exchange, against the 4.00 for a draw and 4.60 on Rosenborg to deliver a body blow to their opponents chances of going through. The latter is sure to attract bits and pieces of attention before what should be a nervy 90 minutes.
Past meetings point to a low-scoring game
The stats tell us this will be a low-scoring match with the teams involved scoring a combined seven goals in Group B so far, despite playing four matches each. Recent meetings seem to back that up with one goal registered in the last two games involving Rosenborg and Celtic, a 0-0 followed by that 1-0 Bhoys cheer.
In Celtic's four previous trips to Rosenborg they have won twice, including a 3-1 in September 1972. That's the only match that has produced more than two goals, the games that followed resulted at 2-0, 0-1 and 0-0. Under 2.5 goals is 11/10 on the Betfair Sportsbook, and that's easier to trust than over 2.5 at 13/20.
Gerrard faces a massive month
Rangers v Villarreal Thursday, 20:00 Live on BT Sport
December promises to be a pivotal month in Steven Gerrard's first season as Rangers manager with no less than nine games on the schedule. Before getting into the thick of that he aims to close November on a high with a home win over La Liga giants Villarreal. Despite making a fast start to their Group G campaign, one point from a double-header with Spartak Moscow has left their chances of involvement after Christmas hanging in the balance.
One win, two draws and a defeat has The Gers sitting third but the pool remains competitive with just two points separating leaders Villarreal from bottom club Rapid Vienna. The Scottish Premiership representatives were unable to break down a stubborn Moscow when last at this venue, before losing by the odd goal in seven at Otkritie Arena, ending their 11-game unbeaten run.
Villarreal remain unbeaten
Villarreal are exactly where most football fans expected them to be at this stage of the competition, siting top of the pool with an unbeaten record. A closer look at their form proves last season's fifth placed La Liga finishers have been far from at their best, stringing together three draws and just one win. That run includes a dramatic 2-2 when hosting Rangers on matchday one.
Bacca had the Yellow Submarine ahead inside 60 seconds that night, Moreno scoring a second on 69 minutes, but their opponents were not to be denied, Arfield and Lafferty hitting replies to ensure a share of the spoils. Both teams had chances to win the game but, at the whistle, neither deserved to leave empty-handed after playing their part in a thriller.
Away win hot favourite
Despite enjoying home advantage and going into this match with every chance of going through, Rangers find themselves priced as second favourites for the win, with Betfair Exchange users able to get their share of 3.40 for the home win. That leaves Villarreal as 2.14 favourites and many neutrals will view that as a sound addition to accumulators.
A look at the stats makes for interesting reading and pushes us towards a bet at a decent price. Rangers and Villarreal have met three times before and each of those matches have ended in a draw, a pair of 2-2 results and a 1-1. Another level finish is difficult to ignore at 3.60 and, when remembering Villarreal have drawn three of four, we'll have that as our best bet.
Gers scored eight in four
Those looking to avoid the unpredictability of the 1-X-2 can pick through the value that exists in the under/over betting and, again, there's plenty to go on. Rangers have scored a total of eight goals in four games, conceding seven. Their opponents have helped themselves to 10 while leaking five at the other end.
Both teams to score seems a fair call and that can be played on the sportsbook at 8/13 - a market best price. Others may wish to take their chances on the tie producing over 2.5 goals, worth a second look at 8/11. Under 2.5 goals can be backed at a handy even money. A fair quote, but it's not for us.