LASK’s Marko Raguz, right, challenge for the ball with Tottenham’s Gareth Bale during the Europa League, Group J, soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and LASK in London, England, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Adam Davy/Pool via AP)
- This Thursday, the Europa League is onto its fifth matchday of the new campaign with many groups still too close to call as we approach the end of the group stage
- Twenty-four games will be played on Thursday with six of the 12 groups having a point or less between second and third place
- The three Europa League games to keep your eye on are LASK Linz vs Tottenham, Granada vs PSV Eindhoven, and Lille vs Sparta Praha
The Europa League is back on Thursday for the fifth matchday of the 2020/21 season and we are in store for some matches with serious knockout round implications. The fifth matchday is when things start to really take shape and teams find out what they need to do on the last day. Some teams, like Arsenal and Hoffenheim have already qualified for their place in the Round of 32, so look for them to rest players on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, some groups are far from being decided. In Group H for example, Lille, AC Milan and Sparta Praha have eight, seven and six points respectively. The game between Lille and Sparta Praha is a close one to call despite the odds and will have a major effect on the future for this competition. Overall, Thursday will be a great day of football for fans across Europe.
Europa League Matchday 5 Odds
|LASK Linz vs Tottenham||+335||+320||-148|
|AC Milan vs Celtic||-275||+415||+650|
|Zorya Luhansk vs Leicester City||+375||+290||-143|
|Sivasspor vs Villareal||+440||+255||-143|
|Lille vs Sparta Praha||-250||+430||+525|
|AA Gent vs Slovan Liberec||-186||+360||+410|
|AEK Athens vs S.C. Braga||+225||+290||+105|
|CSKA Moscow vs Wolfsberger AC||-167||+295||+450|
|Feyenoord vs Dinamo Zagreb||+114||+265||+220|
|Red Star Belgrade vs TSG Hoffenheim||+185||+275||+125|
|Royal Antwerp FC vs Ludogorets||-215||+360||+525|
|Qarabag vs Maccabi Tel Aviv||+245||+240||+110|
|Arsenal vs Rapid Wien||-250||+390||+600|
|Benfica vs Lech Poznan||-400||+450||+1150|
|AZ Alkmaar vs Napoli||+310||+280||-125|
|Nice vs Bayer Leverkusen||+360||+280||-139|
|Roma vs Young Boys||-125||+280||+325|
|Real Sociedad vs Rijeka||-625||+650||+1500|
|Rangers FC vs Standard de Liege||-245||+395||+575|
|CFR Cluj vs CSKA Sofia||-143||+280||+400|
|Granada CF vs PSV Eindhoven||+155||+230||+175|
|Molde vs Dundalk||-670||+655||+1525|
|Omonia Nicosia vs PAOK||+475||+280||-159|
|Slavia Praha vs Hapoel Beer Sheva||-400||+500||+950|
All odds taken Nov 30 at DraftKings
Europa League Pick 1: LASK Linz vs Tottenham
A healthier Tottenham side in their first full year under gaffer Jose Mourinho has looked deadly so far. Their only slip up in the Europa League came to Antwerp away from home in a 1-0 defeat. Aside from that loss, they have won the other three matches by a combined score of 10-1 including a 3-0 drubbing of their Thursday opponents, LASK.
🚨BREAKING | Tottenham Hotspur star Carlos Vinicius has been named as the Europa League ‘Player Of The Week.’
🎯Directly involved in already five goals in two European home matches for Spurs.
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) November 27, 2020
Despite Tottenham’s good form, LASK has also won four out of their last six games in all competitions. This game is particularly interesting because Spurs will not want to wait for the last matchday to qualify for the knockout stages. A good performance is necessary for Jose’s side, and after a draw at Stamford Bridge at the weekend, they will want to bounce back in a big fashion.
My Pick: Spurs -1.5 (+188)
Europa League Pick 2: Granada vs PSV Eindhoven
Granada and PSV is a Europa League fixture with so much on the line for Eindhoven. Granada have all but qualified with ten points. However, PAOK from Greece sit only one point behind PSV in third place, making this a must-win for Roger Schmidt’s side. The reverse fixture saw Granada win by a score of 2-1 in Holland, but recent form shows that PSV have a fighting chance.
⏰ RESULTS ⏰
👏 Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim & Roma progress to round of 32
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) November 26, 2020
Granada has only won once in their last four tries, allowing an average of 2.5 goals to their opponents in those same matches. Donyell Malen is a young sensation for PSV and has already banged in six goals this season in seven starts. Both sides have great value moneylines for this game but expect PSV’s youth to come through for them in this Europa League match.
My Pick: PSV moneyline (+175)
Europa League Pick 3: Lille vs Sparta Praha
Lastly, we have Lille vs Sparta Praha in what should be an enthralling Group H Europa League matchup. Neither of these sides have qualified and have Milan sitting in between them in second place who will surely win their match against last place, Celtic.
Lille won the first match of this competition against Sparta with a heavy hand (4-1) but have drawn their last two matches of late in all competitions against Milan and Saint-Etienne.
While Sparta Praha are coming off two wins in Europa, both against Celtic by a 4-1 scoreline. On the weekend they were 1-0 winners over Teplice in league play. However, their other two Europa League matches not against Celtic, saw them lose 4-1 and 3-0.
Expect Lille to finish their qualification and send Sparta Praha falling out of the group stage.
My Pick: Lille -1.5 (+110)
Josh Ricker is a freelance sports journalist, currently attending the University of Southern Maine (Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and Marketing). He has recently interned with the AA Portland Sea Dogs, and his work has been featured on Fansided, as well as now here on SBD.