Europa League Tips: Dutch delight for goal backers

It's been a fascinating start to the Europa League, and Kevin Hatchard's back with four more selections.

Heavyweight clash will get the pulse racing

PSV v Monaco
Thursday 21 October, 20:00
Live on BT Sport ESPN

There is usually a "group of death" in a tournament, and both PSV and Monaco found themselves in that section in the Europa League. Both have drawn with Real Sociedad and beaten Sturm Graz so far, and now they face each other twice in quick succession.

PSV have been scoring freely in the Eredivisie, rattling in 22 goals in nine games. They have brought that form to the UEL - Roger Schmidt's men drew 2-2 with Real Sociedad and won 4-1 at Sturm Graz. PSV's last five games have featured at least three goals and have also seen both teams find the net.

Monaco made a shaky start to the campaign, and although Niko Kovac's side had gone on a better run recently, they went down 2-0 at Lyon at the weekend in Ligue 1. Like PSV, Monaco are packed with exciting attacking talent, and they have scored at least twice in six of their last ten outings in all competitions. Both teams have scored in six of their last ten matches in all competitions.

I'll use the Bet Builder here to back Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals at 1.98.

Visitors can Basque in glory of victory

Sturm Graz v Real Sociedad
Thursday 21 October, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

When Group B was drawn, poor old Sturm Graz got the short straw in terms of their chances of reaching the knockout phase. They have already lost 1-0 at Monaco and 4-1 at home to PSV, and now they face the current La Liga leaders. Domestically, Sturm Graz were on a good run before they went down 3-2 at Hartberg, and they are eight points off top spot.

Real Sociedad grabbed a last-gasp winner against Mallorca in a 1-0 win last time out, and having drawn with Monaco and PSV, Imanol Alguacil's side know they have to get moving if they are to escape this section. Since losing at Barcelona in mid-August, the Basques are unbeaten in eight games.

I'll back La Real -1.0 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.96. Imanol has to pick a fairly strong side here, as anything less than a win could be very costly. If the La Liga side win by a goal, we get our stake back, but if they win by two or more we get a winner at close to evens.

Dinamo to keep charging

Rapid Vienna v Dinamo Zagreb
Thursday 21 October, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

After a slow start to the campaign, Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb are building momentum. They were outclassed on home soil by West Ham on Matchday One, but recovered with a commanding 3-0 win in Belgium against Genk. Domestically, Dinamo have rattled off a run of six wins and a draw. Striker Bruno Petkovic has rediscovered his scoring touch, and netted twice against Genk, with both goals coming from the penalty spot.

Rapid are still having a tough time in Austria, as they are just three points off the bottom, having won just three games out of 11. They lost at home to Genk on Matchday One, and suffered similar treatment to Dinamo at the hands of West Ham, as they were dismissed in a 2-0 defeat. Regular sales have hurt the team's competitiveness, as gaps in the squad haven't been adequately filled.

Dinamo can be backed Draw No Bet here at 1.86, and I think that's a fair price. If the game is drawn, our stake is returned, but if Dinamo win, we win.

Bayer to bounce back

Real Betis v Bayer Leverkusen
Thursday 20 October, 17:45
Live on BT Sport

Bayer Leverkusen went into their top-of-the-table clash against Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga with an healthy dose of optimism. Their dreams of conquering the Rekordmeister turned into a nightmare before half-time, as Bayern took a 5-0 lead inside 37 minutes. That flurry from the Bavarian machine included a burst of four goals in seven minutes. Bayer were simply blown away, and the display showed new coach Gerardo Seoane where his team is at in the pecking order.

However, Bayer have still made an encouraging start under new management, and there's an argument to say that Bayern are the most effective team in Europe at the moment. Die Werkself should find this clash with Real Betis a little easier, and in teenage titan Florian Wirtz, they have one of the most exciting young talents around. Wirtz has already racked up four goals and six assists in the Bundesliga, and he has scored twice in the UEL.

Betis are in good form under veteran coach Manuel Pellegrini, but they have shown some fragility in the UEL so far. They had to come back from 2-0 down at home to Celtic, eventually securing a 4-3 win, and only a burst of two goals in the final 15 minutes allowed them to see off Ferencvaros 3-1 in Hungary. On home soil, the Seville-based outfit have only won two of the last five.

I think Bayer's speedy attacking players can prise open gaps in the Betis rearguard, and I'll back the Germans +0 & +0.5 on the Asian Handicap here at 1.82. If Bayer win, we win, but even a draw gives us a half-stakes win.

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