Red Bull Salzburg are given little hope of getting a result as they host Manchester City in the Europa League but the Austrian champions, Totesport’s 5/1 outsiders, have perhaps been underestimated and could provide Roberto Mancini’s men with a sterner test than the odds suggest.
City of course, have to start as favourites and they’re odds-on at 8/13 (Betdaq) to return three points better off but Mancini may make a couple of changes and Austrian opposition have already accounted for Aston Villa, so an away win is far from a foregone conclusion in the Red Bull Arena.
Indeed, shrewd punters might fancy backing the hosts at 5/4 with Stan James to avoid defeat in this one, especially as the Premiership side have stuttered a touch in their last two domestic games.
Liverpool should have less trouble as they entertain Steaua Bucharest and the odds reflect as much; bet365 quoting the Reds at 3/10 to come out on top and Totesport combine that victory with a clean sheet at 10/11.
Roy Hodgson’s men are also 6/1 (Ladbrokes) to bag the game’s only goal and the man that can make the difference is Fernando Torres. The Spain striker needs games to return to best but gradually regaining his sharpness, the Europa League provides the ideal opportunity for Torres to improve his match fitness and get back amongst the goals; he’s 11/4 with Ladbrokes to break the deadlock.
In a packed night of action, a few other teams catch the eye. Firstly, defending champions Atletico Madrid have made a great start to the campaign, winning both of their La Liga matches as well as the European Super Cup and they look overpriced at 11/10 with Stan James to beat Aris Salonica.
Levski Sofia are also 11/10 (William Hill) as they host Gent, Victor Chandler’s 15/8 marked against an Anderlecht success at home to Zenit St Petersburg looks a touch high, although it is a touch speculative, while a Stuttgart victory against Young Boys looks a safe bet at 4/6 with Betdaq.