Wolves were the only British side to lose on the opening night of the group stages of the Europa League and the Molineux outfit will be looking for a better result in Istanbul against an out-of-form Besiktas side on Thursday.


AZ Alkmaar v Manchester United

AZ Alkmaar sit third in the Eredivisie table, just one point behind Ajax and PSV Eindhoven and I expect the hosts to keep all three points even though United are unbeaten in their last 12 Europa League ties (W9 D3).

Do note the game is being played on an artificial surface at the ground of Den Haag in The Hague with Alkmaar’s ground unavailable after the roof at their own AFAS Stadium collapsed last month.

United struggled to beat Astana in their opening tie and have made their worst start to a league season since 1989-90 with just nine points from their opening seven games.

Tip: AZ Alkmaar to win


Besiktas v Wolves

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 01: Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager looks on during the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying round 2nd Leg match between Crusaders and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Seaview Stadium on August 01, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Both sides lost on Matchday One of the Europa League and they are also struggling for form in their respective domestic leagues.

Besiktas currently sit in the drop zone in the Turkish Super League and lost 4-1 at Trabzonspor on Sunday, while Wolves gained a much-needed first league win of the campaign at home to Watford.

A draw may not suit either side particularly, but I think it will be a point apiece in Istanbul.

Tip: Game to finish in a draw


Celtic v CFR Cluj

Celtic can gain revenge on FC Cluj less than two months after the Romanians knocked them out of the Champions League in the 3rd qualifying round following a dramatic 4-3 win at Parkhead.

Cluj beat Lazio in their opening Europa League group game while Celtic came from behind to get a valuable point in Rennes. This is a tie the Bhoys need to take maximum points from and I think they will, despite dropping their first points of the domestic season at Hibernian at the weekend.

Tip: Celtic to win and both teams to score


Arsenal v Standard Liege

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal in action during the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais at the Emirates Stadium on July 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Standard Liege have never won on the road in European competition against English opposition (L6 D1) and I don’t expect the Belgian side to buck that trend at the Emirates.

Arsenal reached the final of the competition last season and their 3-0 win in Frankfurt on the opening day was one of the performances of the night. The Gunners have won all four previous games against Les Rouches and I see no reason why they will not make it five this week.

Tip: Arsenal -1


Young Boys v Rangers

Rangers have bounced back from their defeat in the first Old Firm game of the season, winning all four subsequent games including a well-deserved 1-0 win over Feyenoord in their opening Europa League group tie at Ibrox.

Young Boys lost 2-1 in Porto on Matchday One and I hope to see Steven Gerrard’s side take home a valuable point from the Swiss capital.

Tip: Game to finish in a draw

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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