Europa League Betting: Rose's men to keep surfing the wave
The Europa League has reached Matchday Six, and Kevin Hatchard's back with four more selections...
Foals to gallop into last 32
Borussia Monchengladbach v Istanbul Basaksehir Thursday 12 December, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
It's been an extraordinary season for Borussia Monchengladbach. Saturday's emotional and dramatic 2-1 win over Bayern Munich put the Foals seven points ahead of the champions, although they are just a point clear of RB Leipzig in the race for the Meisterschale. Marcus Thuram again provided the key moment, winning the stoppage-time penalty that left-back Ramy Bensebaini smashed past Manuel Neuer. Thuram has been outstanding this season, and his last-gasp winner at home to Roma has set up Gladbach to qualify for the knockout phase.
It has been a campaign filled with late drama. Gladbach scored equalisers in the 90th minute or later against Istanbul Basaksehir and Roma, and won the home game against the Italians with virtually the last touch of the match. After they were bizarrely smacked 4-0 at home by Wolfsberger, few would've imagined BMG would sit atop the group at this stage.
Gladbach need to avoid defeat to progress, but a win would secure top spot, and I think they can get that win. Forwards Breel Embolo and Patrick Hermann were both benched at the weekend, so they have a good chance of starting, and skilful midfielder Florian Neuhaus didn't feature at all. Istanbul Basaksehir were beaten 3-0 and 4-0 by Roma, and they have lost five of their last seven away games in this competition.
Istanbul Basaksehir have to win to progress, and that'll make for an entertaining game. I'll back a Gladbach/Over 2.5 Goals double on the Sportsbook at [2.07].
Wolfsberger to go down in flames
Roma v Wolfsberger Thursday 12 December, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
Although they suffered some frustrations along the way (they conceded a penalty late on against Borussia Monchengladbach for handball when the ball clearly hit Chris Smalling in the face) Paulo Fonseca's Roma are on the cusp of qualification for the last 32. A point will be enough for them to make progress, and even a defeat would be okay if Istanbul Basaksehir lose in Germany.
However, I believe Roma will qualify in style. They demolished Basaksehir twice, and they are chasing a fourth straight home win in all competitions. Wolfsberger started the campaign in dreamlike fashion with a 4-0 win at Gladbach, but they have claimed just one point since. They can't qualify, and have lost five of their last six games in all competitions.
I'll back Roma -2.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.89.
Wobbling Wolves lacking bite
Wolfsburg v St Etienne Thursday 12 December, 20:00 Live on BT Sport Extra
With Wolfsburg safely through to the last 32, and St Etienne unable to progress, this is the classic dead rubber. In theory, Wolfsburg could still secure top spot, but I can't see coach Oliver Glasner prioritising this game. Die Wolfe have slipped recently, winning only two of their last 12 games in all competitions. At their Volkswagen Arena, they have won just one of their last eight matches.
St Etienne have little to play for, and a big game against PSG coming up, but they've only lost two of their last 14 matches in all competitions. Against a Wolfsburg team that is struggling for rhythm, I think they can grab a result, and this game could get very low-key very quickly.
At 1.48, this current Wolfsburg team is simply too short, so lay them.
Frankfurt to forget domestic troubles
Eintracht Frankfurt v Vitoria Guimaraes Thursday 12 December, 17:55 Live on BT Sport Extra
These are tricky times for Eintracht Frankfurt. They have taken just a point from their last four league games, and there are issues at both ends of the pitch. Injured goalkeeper Kevin Trapp has been sorely missed, while in attack big-name summer signing Andre Silva has been publicly urged to up his game by coach Adi Hutter.
However, as has often been the case in the last two seasons, SGE have reserved their best displays for the Europa League. They produced a stirring comeback win against Arsenal at the Emirates, and now they know a win or a draw against already-eliminated Guimaraes will see them through. A capacity crowd, a spine-tingling atmosphere and a fully motivated Eintracht makes for a potent combination.
Vitoria have fallen well short in this competition, picking up just two points from five matches. The club is just three points off the top four in Portugal, and it's tough to see this game being much of a priority. Vitoria lost at Standard Liege and at Arsenal, and I don't think they'll avoid defeat here.
I'll back Eintracht -1.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.80.