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Bedlam at the BayArena

Bayer Leverkusen v Ferencvaros
Thursday 16 September, 17:45
Live on BT Sport Digital

Bayer Leverkusen’s excellent start to the Bundesliga hit the skids at the weekend, as they were beaten 4-3 in a thriller against Borussia Dortmund. Die Werkself led three times, only for the Erling Haaland-inspired visitors to snatch victory in a classic. Despite that result, it’s been an encouraging start for Bayer under new coach Gerardo Seoane.

French international winger Moussa Diaby has been in electrifying form so far, Patrik Schick has carried on where he left off at EURO 2020, and golden boy Florian Wirtz is a remarkable performer considering he’s just 18. In defence, centre-back Odilon Kossounou has settled in well, mitigating the loss of Edmond Tapsoba to injury.

Ferencvaros missed out on back-to-back Champions League campaigns as they lost to Young Boys, going down 3-2 at home and losing on the road by the same scoreline. The Hungarian champions have been rattling in goals, but a 2-1 home defeat to league leaders Kisvarda suggests they might not have things all their own way this season.

I fancy Both Teams To Score here at a chunky 2.245/4. Leverkusen have been scoring freely (15 goals in five competitive games), but they have only kept two clean sheets, and Seoane’s attack-minded style could give Ferencvaros room to play.

Sarri-ball will give us some fun

Galatasaray v Lazio
Thursday 16 September, 17:45
BT Sport Digital

Although Lazio suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Milan at the weekend, it’s generally been a positive start under new coach Maurizio Sarri. The former Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus boss has effectively communicated his ideas to his players, and a tally of nine goals across the first three games could be a sign of things to come. With creative talents like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto supplying the ammunition for Ciro Immobile, Sarri certainly has some shiny toys to play with.

Galatasaray haven’t exactly impressed in the qualifiers for this tournament. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home by St Johnstone before winning the second leg, and they squeezed past Danish side Randers 3-2 on aggregate.

In their last two Super Lig games they have drawn 2-2 with Kasimpasa and Trabzonspor, and coach Fatih Terim certainly hasn’t found the answers when it comes to keeping clean sheets.

I’ll use the Goal Lines market here and back Over 2.5 and Over 3.0 Goals at 1.9620/21. If there are three goals in the match, we get a half-win, but if there are four or more we get a winner a shade shy of evens.

Back Basques to avoid defeat

PSV v Real Sociedad
Thursday 16 September, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Digital

It’s been a very solid start to the season by Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad. A disappointing 4-2 reverse at Barcelona was followed by three La Liga wins, and three clean sheets. The exciting Mikel Oyarzabal has rattled in four goals in four games, covering for a slow start by Scandinavian strikers Alexander Sorloth and Alexander Isak.

PSV suffered a hammer blow when they failed to break down a stubborn Benfica in the Champions League qualifiers, although Roger Schmidt’s side has made a flawless start to the Eredivisie season, winning all four games and scoring 14 goals.

Despite PSV’s domestic dominance, I’m not entirely convinced by them yet on the continental stage, and La Real are capable of getting a result here. If we back them +0 & +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.865/6, we get a half-win if the game is drawn, and a full win if the Basques take all three points.

Genk can slow down Rapid

Rapid Vienna v Genk
Thursday 16 September, 17:45
Live on BT Sport Digital

Still floundering in the shadow of the dominant Salzburg, Rapid Vienna have made an unconvincing start to the campaign. While they swept aside Ukrainian side Zorya in the qualifiers of this competition, they have already dropped plenty of points in the Austrian Bundesliga. At the weekend they were beaten 2-1 at home by Admira, and the capital club is already a massive 13 points behind the leaders.

Genk were understandably outclassed in the Champions League qualifiers against Shakhtar Donetsk, but they are just three points off top spot in the Belgian top flight with a game in hand. Strikers Paul Onuachu and Theo Bongonda are in form, with seven league goals between them, and Genk have scored in every single game so far.

Last season’s runners-up in Belgium are the slight outsiders here, and I think they are worth backing using the Draw No Bet market. If the visitors win, we get a 2.021/1 winner, while a draw sees our stake returned.





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