EUROPA LEAGUE THURSDAY: The Ultra previews Thursday’s games between ZURICH v ARSENAL and MANCHESTER UNITED v REAL SOCIEDAD both with a recommended BETDAQ bet.
ZURICH V ARSENAL
5.45pm The Europa League returns on Thursday and we have plenty of action on BETDAQ Betting Exchange! The Europa League is always hectic with so many fixtures kicking off each Thursday, but I’m happy to focus on the two highest profile sides in the competition this year – Arsenal and Manchester United. Both sides met at the weekend and played out a very entertaining game which United won 3-1 in the end with plenty of talking points. We start the evening with Arsenal traveling to take on Zurich. There’s obviously a big gulf in class between the sides here and the market is fully expecting an Arsenal win. The away side are trading 1.33 at the time of writing, but it’s worth keeping in mind we have a hectic schedule for the top clubs right up to the World Cup now so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of changes to the side who played Manchester United at the weekend. From that point of view, we all easily see a lot of market movement around the team news one hour before kick-off, and for our outright bets on the game we also have to keep that in mind too.
Most casual football fans won’t know much about Zurich. They play their football in the Swiss Super League and they were in the Europa League in 2014/15, 2016/17 and 2018/19. Fair to say things have been a little rollercoaster like for them over the last few years. In 2020/21 they finished in 8th position which is actually in the bottom three, just one place away from the relegation playoff spot, then last season they completely turned things around and won the league by a whopping 14 points! It’s worth noting that they have had a terrible start to the season this time around with only two points from their opening seven games – that’s joint bottom! It’s very difficult to get a feel of what the standard is like in Switzerland – it’s a million miles away from the Premier League and I would expect a comfortable win for Arsenal here even if they name a second XI. Given this is the first game of the tournament for Arsenal, we will get a feel what the manager will do with team selection so I’ll be keeping stakes low here. I do feel Arsenal can cover the 1.5 goal handicap though, and I’m happy to have a small investment on that at 1.89.
The Ultra Says:
One point win Arsenal -1.5 goals to beat Zurich at 1.89 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/ZurArs
MANCHESTER UNITED V REAL SOCIEDAD
8pm We finish the evening with Manchester United hosting Real Sociedad. This is definitely the highlight fixture of the night – we have two top sides here who probably aren’t Champions League standard at the moment but they aren’t far away. Real Sociedad are always going to find it difficult to break into that top four in Spain and realistically a Europa League spot is the best outcome for them at the moment – in fairness to them they have finished fifth or sixth for the last six seasons. We all know Manchester United are going through a re-building phase; haven’t they been going through that since Sir Alex Ferguson retired? In Erik ten Hag they have found a manager who speaks very well, and you can see he sets standards high. He is definitely going to boss that dressing room and not let the players walk all over him which is what this United squad needs. After a lot of negativity and drama; it seems the board has backed him in the final week of the transfer window – it only took two opening defeats for the owners to hit the panic button but ten Hag does seem to have a squad that fit his system now. It will be very interesting to see what kind of team he names here – I can see some changes from Sunday and Ronaldo starting for example. The manager will want to keep the momentum going after four straight wins, but at the same time he needs to rest some players as we have a very busy schedule. Real Sociedad have had an average start to the season and sit around mid-table in La Liga on paper but they have had a difficult fixture list.
This should be a good game, but I was still surprised to see United trading as short as 1.66 when I clicked into the market. Sociedad will be a tough test, and I wouldn’t have United that short. Sociedad have played four games in La Liga but two of those games came against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid so don’t let their position in the table fool you. They managed two 1-0 wins away to Cadiz and Elche in their other games but finished with xG figures of 2.32 and 1.91. They were hammered 4-1 by Barcelona but they always tend to lose to Barcelona and battled hard for a draw at the weekend against Atletico. You might see less changes to the Sociedad side given they will take this competition very seriously, and I expect a closer game than 1.66 suggests. Once again, we changes expected especially in the United side and this being the first game of the tournament for both sides, I’m happy to keep stakes small but the 1.66 on United looks a very nice lay.
The Ultra Says:
One point lay (liability) Manchester United to beat Real Sociedad at 1.66 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/MunSoc