UEFA Europa League 2019-2020: Tips for Matchday 3
The group stages of the Europa League have always thrown up an odd mix of results and performances. This has already manifested in this season’s round of group games played so far.
The traditional “big teams” from Europe’s top leagues who were found unworthy of UEFA Champions League football usually play a mix of first-team players, reserves and academy prospects during this stage.
We have already seen this in the kinds of lineups that the likes of Manchester United, Lazio, FC Porto, Arsenal and others have used in the first two rounds of matches. This is expected to continue in this round of games as well.
With action from 12 groups, it is impossible to say one team has stood out as potential winners. This is expected as the level of the competition will rise once the drop-outs from the UCL find their way into the latter stages of the competition.
Review of Matchday 2
Matchday 2 produced action aplenty across various stadia. In Group A, perennial winners, Sevilla took control with a 1-0 win over APOEL as Qarabag thrashed Dudelange 1-4.
Group B’s action produced two draws: the all-Scandinavian clash between Malmo and FC Copenhagen ended 1-1 while the match-up between Lugano and Dynamo Kyiv ended goalless.
Trabzonspor held FC Basel to a 2-2 draw in Group C. In the other match in the section, Getafe got a precious 2-1 away win at Krasnodar.
The expected wins occurred for Sporting Lisbon and PSV Eindhoven in Group D. The Portuguese side beat LASK Linz 2-1 while the Dutch giants walloped Rosenborg 4-1 in Norway.
Lazio and Celtic recorded home wins in Group E; a 2-1 win for the Italians over Rennes while Celtic triumphed 2-0 over CFR Cluj.
Arsenal ran riot with a 4-0 thumping of Standard Liege in Group F as Eintracht Frankfurt sneaked a 1-0 win away at Vitoria SC in Portugal.
Group G which is this season’s “Group of Death” produced another set of home wins as Young Boys beat Rangers 2-1 while Feyernood triumphed over FC Porto with a 2-0 win in Rotterdam.
In Group H, it was the turn of the away teams to smile. Espanyol was comfortable in a 2-0 win at highly-favoured CSKA Moscow while Ludogorets were impressive in their 3-0 thumping of Ferencvaros in Hungary.
1-1 was the scoreline of choice in Group I as the matches between St Etienne and Wolfsburg as well as that between Olexandryia and Gent ended all square.
The same scoreline was repeated in Group J in the matches; Istanbul Basaksehir versus Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsberg versus AS Roma.
Willy Boly got a last-gasp winner for Wolverhampton Wanderers away at Besiktas in Group K while SC Braga and Slovan Bratislava played a 2-2 draw.
Manchester United was poor in a 0-0 draw with AZ Alkmaar in Group L while Astana suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Partizan Belgrade.
Games and Predictions for Matchday 3
Qarabag vs APOEL (G/G)
Sevilla vs Dudelange (1)
Dynamo Kyiv vs FC Copenhagen (1X)
Malmo vs Lugano (Over 1.5 Goals)
Getafe vs Basel (1X)
Trabzonspor vs Krasnodar (G/G)
PSV vs LASK Linz (Over 2.5 Goals)
Sporting Lisbon vs Rosenborg (G/G)
Rennes vs CFR Cluj (Over 1.5 Goals)
Celtic vs Lazio (G/G)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Standard Liege (1)
Arsenal vs Vitoria SC (Over 2.5 Goals)
FC Porto vs Rangers (1)
Young Boys vs Feyenoord (G/G)
Ludogorets vs Espanyol (Over 1.5 Goals)
CSKA Moscow vs Fenecvaros (Over 1.5 Goals)
Gent vs Wolfsburg (G/G)
St-Etienne vs Olexandryia (Over 1.5 Goals)
AS Roma vs Borussia Monchengladbach (G/G)
Istanbul Basaksehir vs Wolfsberg (Over 1.5 Goals)
Slovan Bratislava vs Wolverhampton Wanderers (X2)
Besiktas vs SC Braga (G/G)
Partizan vs Manchester United (Over 1.5 Goals)
AZ Alkmaar vs Astana (1X)