This week’s Europa League action sees the Group Stage return legs kick off with a reverse of Matchday Three.

Chelsea and Arsenal can qualify for the knockouts with a win and results going their way, whilst Rangers will move closer to joining them there if can collect all three points in Moscow. 

Celtic meanwhile must win to even stand any chance of qualifying because a draw or loss would mean they must win their last two group games and hope RB Leipzig lose their two. 

 

Group B (8:00pm)

Celtic vs RB Leipzig

Rosenborg vs Red Bull Salzburg

Celtic just have to go for it if are to potentially move closer towards an early exit because second place is probably their bet with Leipzig currently in firm position and can clinch it here with victory over them.

The Hoops however can take heart from Saturday’s mauling of Hearts but need to turn that injection of confidence into a strong performance against a Leipzig side who are yet to concede in six games across all competitions. 

That run of form makes Leipzig obvious favourites but Celtic are difficult to beat at home so I fancy a home win here, if they can ground it out and grab a late winner. 

Red Bull Salzburg meanwhile should easily dispatch Rosenborg without much trouble. 

Predictions: 

Celtic 1-0 RB Leipzig

Rosenborg 0-3 Red Bull Salzburg

 

Group E

Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon

Vorskla Poltava vs Qarabag

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal can qualify with victory here and given that they are currently on a 14 match unbeaten run in all competitions, and I don’t see Sporting Lisbon causing too much damage to a strong Gunners side. 

Saying that, the Gunners only managed a 1-0 win in reverse meeting a fortnight ago but at home, they will be capable of finding another goal given that they have netted more than once in seven of last eight home matches. 

Over in Ukraine, Vorskla Poltava should easily secure another win against a Qarabag side who don’t appear to have anything in them to produce victories in this group. 

Predictions: 

Arsenal 2-0 Sporting Lisbon

Vorskla Poltava 2-0 Qarabag

 

Group G

Rapid Vienna vs Villarreal

Spartak Moscow vs Rangers

This is a difficult group to predict at this stage because all four could qualify and wins for home sides here will see just one point separate Rapid Vienna from Rangers, Spartak Moscow and Villareal. 

Spartak will provide Rangers with a real test of their quality but have been so inconsistent results wise with only one win in past two months, which I can see biting them here if the Gers can find that first goal. 

Over in Vienna, Villarreal should beat Rapid, given that they thrashed them 5-0 at home just a fortnight ago but the home side might have some tricks up their sleeve as Spartak and Rangers have already found out.

Predictions:

Rapid Vienna 1-3 Villarreal

Spartak Moscow 0-2 Rangers 

 

Group L (5::55pm)

BATE Borisov vs Chelsea

MOL Vidi vs PAOK Salonika

Embed from Getty Images

A win will see Chelsea qualify for the knockouts and I can see that being confirmed here because BATE Borisov don’t have much to trouble the Blues. 

Throw in their pitful record against English clubs of just one win and four losses then this should be an easy result. 

Mol Vidi vs PAOK however is a six pointer that will also affect BATE Borisov as all three fight to join Chelsea in the post Xmas action as Group G runners up. I therefore can see a tight match coming here but think MOL Vidi could have enough in them to get the win. 

Predictions: 

BATE Borisov 0-3 Chelsea

MOL Vidi 1-0 PAOK Salonika

 

 

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