The third round of fixtures in the Europa League are staged this coming Thursday, as we reach the half-way stage of the competition. It looks set to be a pivotal point of the group stage this season, and you can find our picks and predictions for the third matchday right here.
Bodo/Glimt is the current leaders in Group A, but they will face their biggest test of the group stages this Thursday as they take on Arsenal. The Norwegian side has won once and drawn once in their opening two. However, Arsenal has played just once in the competition this season. They could move to the top with a win, and we would expect them to claim the win on Thursday.
PSV is our other tip in Group A on Thursday, as we expect them to have far too much quality for FC Zurich.
Rennes is the current leader in Group B, and they will take on the team at the bottom of the standings this Thursday. We would expect them to have far too much for a Dynamo Kyiv side that has scored just once in two matches in the Europa League.
Fenerbahce get the nod in the other fixture, as their home advantage looks to be the crucial factor against AEK Larnaca.
One of the big fixtures in the Europa League this week comes in Group C, as Italian giants AS Roma host Real Betis. The latter currently sits top after wins in each of their opening two fixtures, which means Roma will need a victory to keep their hopes of top spot alive.
However, the draw could be the value play. In the other fixture, we expect HJK’s misery to continue with another defeat against Ludogorets.
The top two clash in Group D this week, with Braga and Union Saint-Gilloise both currently boasting maximum points. However, home advantage could be crucial, as we could see Braga taking the points.
Meanwhile, it has been a slow start to the Europa League for Union Berlin, but we could see the German side getting their first win in the competition this term against Malmo.
Manchester United will be looking for a second straight win in the Europa League on Thursday, as they travel to Cyprus to take on Omonia. The Red Devils appear to be too strong on paper, and it could be a straightforward fixture for United. Meanwhile, we also Read Sociedad to maintain their 100% record.
Feyenoord and Midtjylland clash in the Europa League this week. It is a close group coming into this round of fixtures, with all four teams having three points each. However, we could see this match being the first draw in Group F. In the other fixture, we would expect Lazio to have far too much quality for Sturm Graz.
Freiburg take on Nantes in the big fixture in Group G on Thursday. The German side has looked strong in the competition already this season, and we would expect them to maintain their 100% record with another victory on Thursday. Meanwhile, Olympiacos and Qarabag could end in a draw.
AS Monaco will be looking to get back into contention for top spot this week, as they come up against Trabzonspor. We fancy the chances of the French side, as they have been tight defensively in their first two games. Meanwhile, we also like the chances of Ferencvaros maintaining their 100% record with a victory against Red Star Belgrade.