Celtic v AIK, 7.45pm Thursday 22nd August

Being booed off the pitch by your home fans isn’t the greatest preparation for a Europa League play-off. Celtic have had a disastrous week, crashing out of the Champions League after that 4-3 defeat to Cluj at Celtic Park, but Thursday’s opponents AIK haven’t been having the best of times of it either.

The Swedish champions’ supporters took out their frustrations after a 2-1 home defeat to Kalmar at the weekend, a result that leaves them four points behind the leaders in the Allsvenskan.

The Swedes suffered a disappointing Champions League exit themselves, to Slovenian side Maribor, while Celtic have now just won one game in the last four in normal time.

Such inconsistent form from both sides makes it difficult to predict who will come out on top here. However, there should be goals.

Celtic’s six European games so far this campaign have resulted in 23 goals, while AIK’s six fixtures finished with just three fewer in total. As such, Over 2.5 Goals looks a decent plump at 10/11, while Over 3.5 Goals is available at around 23/10.

The Bhoys’ record against Swedish opposition is decent, winning four of six in the last seven years. However, their most recent meetings finished in a 4-3 aggregate defeat to Malmo in a Champions League play-off four years ago. With that in mind, AIK’S odds of 13/2 to win on Thursday look tempting, with the visitors 4/1 (Bet Now) in the Draw No Bet market.

Betting with Bet365

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Celtic 9/20

Draw 3/1

AIK 13/2

Torino v Wolves, 8pm Thursday 22nd August

After we correctly tipped a 1-1 draw for Wolves against Manchester United on Monday night, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are in action again three days later in another tie that should be extremely close.

Torino may not exude the glamour and history of United but should prove formidable opponents. Their European run so far has seen them score 13 times in just four games, while Wolves have mustered 14 in the same amount of Europa League fixtures.

It’s safe to say we expect goals here. Over 3.5 Goals comes in at around 13/5 while Over 4.5 is a decent looking 6/1.

The Turin-based side go into this leg as favourites to win in 90 minutes, at 13/10, but Wolves have an advantage in that the Serie A season has yet to kick off. As such, Torino’s only competitive games since May have been their European exploits. The Midlands side are 2/1 to come away from Italy with a win or 13/5 to take a draw back to Molineux for the second leg next week.

They each finished seventh in their domestic league last season and European football is a relative novelty for both.  They’ll be taking this competition seriously, unlike some English sides in recent years. We’re sticking our necks out here and picking Wolves to win and Over 3.5 Goals at 9/1.

It’s only a couple of years since Andrea Belotti was being linked with Manchester United and Chelsea and he’s already notched four goals in Europe this campaign, including two penalties. He’s 10/3 (Bet Now) to net the first goal on Thursday and 17/10 to find the net at anytime.

Betting with Bet365

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Torino 5/4

Draw 9/4

Wolves 11/5

 

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