Excitement is building as the Europa League prepares to kick-off, so check out our top tips for the tournament openers
European club football returns to our screens this week and often the Europa League offers bigger shocks, more profitable punts and a leveler playing field than big brother tournament the Champions League.
So, while the latter hogs all the headlines, Bookies.com give this cracking continental competition the attention it deserves. Here are our five fantastic bets for the Europa League group openers…
Coutinho to bag for Liverpool v Bordeaux
Back cunning Brazilian conductor Philippe Coutinho to get on the scoresheet for Liverpool, as the Samba star makes his comeback from suspension on the continent.
A scorer of stunning strikes and, often, crucial goals, Coutinho is a player who can change the course of games. So, place a stake on the sensational South American for some highlight-reel heroics here, where he is a best market price of 19/2 from 888.com to poach the opener in France.
BETTING TIP: Coutinho scores first @ 19/2 with 888.com
Undefeated Basel to beat former boss
Swiss Super League side Basel need have feared not after losing title-winning tactician Paulo Sousa, once of Leicester City and Swansea City flop fame, to Fiorentina.
The St Jakob-Park club are undefeated across all competitions since Urs Fischer took over the helm and, after recent impressive runs in Europe, are 19/5 with Betfred to defeat Viola and Sousa in Tuscany. Basel have, of course, troubled bigger cheeses, as Chelsea and Liverpool can attest.
BETTING TIP: Basel beat Fiorentina @ 19/5 with Betfred.
Son first to shine for Spurs
Tottenham’s surprising South Korean summer signing Son Heung-Min was handed his Premier League debut last time out and may now have the chance to make his mark in Europe against Azerbaijani outfit Qarabag.
Previously a hit on the continental big stage with former club Bayer Leverkusen, for whom he bagged three from eight in the Champions League last term plus two in as many games in qualifying, Son is 5/1 with bet365 to get scoring underway.
BETTING TIP: Son Heung-Min scores first @ 5/1 with bet365.
Januzaj to build on Dortmund debut anytime
German giants Borussia Dortmund have a gem on their hands in Manchester United-owned Adnan Januzaj. The prodigious attacking midfield talent bagged for the Black and Yellows in a friendly before threatening in a league cameo. Drafted in to add depth, the dangerous Belgian is priced at 2/1 in the anytime market by Sky Bet.
BETTING TIP: Janzuaj scores anytime @ 2/1 with Sky Bet.
Dnipro to deny Lazio
Ukraine club Dnipro were last campaign’s Europa League surprise package, narrowly missing out on the trophy to Sevilla after a thrilling final.
The Warriors of Light knocked out Italian competition along the way in Napoli and kept eight clean sheets in their excellent run, so are a superb 7/2 price from Paddy Power to shut out Lazio here.
BETTING TIP: Dnipro keep a clean sheet against Lazio @ 7/2 with Paddy Power.