2018-19 Europa League: Matchday Five

This week’s Europa League action sees the knockout places begin to fill up as Arsenal and Chelsea look to wrap up their groups as winners. 

Celtic and Rangers meanwhile have to win to take qualification from their groups to the final round of group fixtures in a fortnight time. 

 

Group B (5:55pm)

Red Bull Salzburg vs RB Leipzig

Rosenborg vs Celtic

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ArsenalCeltic simply must win here to keep their qualifying hopes alive but Rosenborg are a difficult side to beat at home, although both Red Bull teams eventually won after two goal filled thrillers.

This time round, I can see Celtic keeping things tight and eventually hitting Rosenborg on counter to edge this out. 

Over in the Red Bull derby, Salzburg should have too much for Leipzig because the Austrian side have scored three in each of their two previous home games so far in this group.

Predictions:

Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 RB Leipzig

Rosenborg 0-1 Celtic

 

Group E

FK Qarabag vs Sporting Lisbon

Vorskla Poltava vs Arsenal 

This group is pretty much sorted because I cannot see Qarabag beating Sporting Lisbon at home given their poor home form in this group. 

Arsenal meanwhile can win the group if they overcome a tough trip to Ukraine.

In the first leg, Vorskla Poltava really pushed the Gunners to absolute limits with an attacking display, but this time Arsenal have too much quality and momentum of 17 unbeaten matches in all competitions. 

I therefore can see a pair of away wins here to render the final group matches a pair of dead rubbers. 

Predictions:

FK Qarabag 0-2 Porto

Vorskla Poltava 0-2 Arsenal

 

Group G

Spartak Moscow vs Rapid Vienna (3:50pm)

Rangers vs Villarreal (8:00pm)

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This is an absolute must win for Rangers because if Spartak Moscow beat Rapid Vienna in early match, only a victory will do for the Gers to keep their qualifying hopes realistically alive.

Villarreal might be unbeaten in this group but have taken three draws, conceding five goals across those drawn games. Rangers therefore need to go for an attacking style of play and keep fighting to final whistle like they did in first leg.

Prediction wise, I am going for a Rangers win because they’re yet to lose at home in all competitions whilst Villarreal aren’t defensively strong. 

Over in the early match, Spartak Moscow should take a rather comfortable win given that Rapid haven’t fared well on the road, losing by a combined 8-1 aggregate from trips to Rangers and Villarreal.

Predictions:

Spartak Moscow 2-0 Rapid Vienna

Rangers 2-1 Villarreal

 

Group L 

BATE Borisov vs MOL Vidi (5:55pm)

Chelsea vs PAOK Salonika (8:00pm)

Chelsea can afford to field youngsters here given that they’re already through but PAOK really provided a stern defensive test in first leg. 

This therefore should be an interesting game depending on who starts but I am going for a Chelsea win, given that they’re yet to suffer a home loss this season in all competitions. 

Bate Borisov meanwhile must beat MOL Vidi to take the runner-up spot battle to final group matches. 

This is a tough match to call because after losing their opening two games, Vidi have won their two recent group matches but BATE struggled at home against PAOK before narrowly being beaten by Chelsea. 

Therefore on gut feeling, I am going for the Hungarian side to win and secure the second qualification spot. 

Predictions: 

BATE Borisov 1-2 MOL Vidi

Chelsea 2-0 PAOK Salonika

 

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