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Europa League tips – In-form Pelle set to strike first for Saints in Midtjylland match

Southampton's passage to Europa League group stage looks straightforward, and Italy attacker Pelle is brilliant value with bet365 at 7/2 to open proceedings

Ronald Koeman is on the cusp of leading Southampton to a European competition proper for the first time since the club were knocked out in the UEFA Cup first round in 2003/04, as the Saints face FC Midtjylland in the Europa League play-offs.

Star striker Graziano Pelle looks the man set to down the Danes in this first leg at St Mary’s, after he netted first in both battles against Dutch threat Vitesse in the qualifying third round to help his team thrash them 5-0 on aggregate.

Italy international Pelle also opened the scoring in Southampton’s first Premier League game of the 2015/16 season against Newcastle United, and is a fantastic 7/2 chance (a best price with bet365 and Coral) to do so here too.

The Saints are the odds-on favourites both to beat Midtjylland in the first leg, at 1/3 with BetVictor, and qualify for the group stage (1/6 with William Hill).

Those prices are so short for a reason, given that the Danish champions are only in this pre-competition play-off due to being knocked out of the Champions League qualifying third round.

Midtjylland only narrowly edged out minnows Lincoln Red Imps, of Gibraltar, before crashing out on away goals to Cypriot side APOEL FC.

Southampton strikers have certainly been on form this term so far, with Shane Long (twice) and Sadio Mane also being on target. You can back them at 6/4 (a best price with bet365) and 13/8 (with Coral) anytime respectively.

Other forward threats for the hosts include the likes of Spanish summer signing Juanmi (also 6/4 with bet365 in that market) and Jay Rodriguez (13/10 with the same bookie).

Koeman’s men beat Vitesse 3-0 in the last round at home, and have brilliant odds of 15/2 with BetVictor and Paddy Power to inflict that scoreline on Midtjylland too.

Azzurri poacher Pelle is the one that can pay dividends for punters, though, if you back him to break the deadlock. best bet – Graziano Pelle scores first @ 7/2 with bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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