Europa Conference League Betting Tips

Europa Conference League matchday 5 previews, predictions and odds

After matchday four, İstanbul Başakşehir, West Ham United, Villarreal and Djurgården have qualified for the knockout stages.

But, with only one club, namely Shamrock Rovers, having been eliminated, it’s all to play for in all eight groups.

Below are previews of all 16 matchday five fixtures.

Group A: Heart of Midlothian vs RFS

Heart of Midlothian’s return to a UEFA group stage hasn’t quite gone to plan, so can they keep alive their slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages?

Back in September, the Jambos enjoyed an historic night in Rīga, beating RFS 2-0.

Lawrence Shankland’s inch-perfect penalty and then Alan Forrest’s late clincher ensuring it was a famous night for those who made the pilgrimage to Skonto stadions.

Aside from that though, it’s been a completely dismal campaign for Robbie Neilson’s side.

At home, the Jambos have been beaten 4-0 by İstanbul Başakşehir and 3-0 by Fiorentina, getting batted 5-1 in Florence last time out.

So, to get through, Hearts must win both here and in Türkiye next Thursday, but even that may not be enough.

Will the Heart of Midlothian faithful witness a first European home win (excluding qualifiers) since 2000?

Against the group’s top two, RFS have been far more competitive than their Scottish counterparts.

The Virslīga champions have two points, drawing 1-1 at Stadio Artemio Franchi and 0-0 when Başakşehir came to Latvia.

Although, a fortnight ago, Viktors Morozs’ team were easily beaten 3-0 over in İstanbul.

So, this is a great opportunity for Hearts to claim a famous win; will it be a night to remember at Tynecastle?

Group A: Fiorentina vs İstanbul Başakşehir

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Fiorentina vs İstanbul Başakşehir

Fiorentina to draw 1-1 with İstanbul Başakşehir- 6/1!

Group A’s top two go head-to-head in Florence, with both looking to rubber stamp their spots in the knockout stages.

İstanbul Başakşehir are in pole position to win this group, largely thanks to the fact they hammered Fiorentina 3-0 on matchday two.

Last time out, they enjoyed another 3-0 home win; Deniz Türüç breaking the deadlock, before Stefano Okaka bagged a brace against RFS

So, Emre Belözoğlu have ten points on the board, knowing just a point here would secure first place.

Fiorentina meanwhile made a slow start to this campaign, but have rectified that with back-to-back victories over Hearts.

Vincenzo Italiano’s team won 3-0 at Tynecastle, before battering the Scottish side 5-1 a fortnight ago.

Luka Jović, Cristiano Biraghi, Nicolás González and Antonín Barák all on target in that one.

This though will be a far tougher test, so who will be celebrating come full time at Stadio Artemio Franchi?

Group B: West Ham United vs Silkeborg

West Ham United currently have a >99% chance of topping Group B, and can make that mathematically certain here.

So far in the Europa Conference League, including the play-off tie, the Hammers have won all six matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding just five.

A fortnight ago, goals from Saïd Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen saw the Irons beat Anderlecht 2-1 at home.

This means David Moyes’ men are on 12 points, requiring just one more to book their place in the round of 16.

The Hammers nearest challengers, and toughest opponents to date, have been Silkeborg, making their debut in a UEFA group stage.

Back in September, Kasper Kusk broke the deadlock at JYSK Park as West Ham, just about, fought back and won 3-2.

Despite that, Kent Nielsen’s team do have six points on the board, emphatically beating FCSB twice, both times 5-0.

Kusk, Anders Klynge, Søren Tengstedt and Sebastian Jørgensen all on target at Arena Națională on matchday four.

So, against the odds, Silkeborg sit second, two clear of Anderlecht who they host on matchday six.

Can Silkeborg spring an even bigger surprise and leave the London Stadium with a point, or perhaps more?

Group B: Anderlecht vs FCSB

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Anderlecht vs Steaua București

Anderlecht to win 3-0 against FCSB- 15/2!

After being humbled and humiliated in their last two Europa Conference League games, will FCSB put in a better showing this time?

On matchdays three and four, Nicolae Dică's team were hammered 5-0 by Silkeborg, not once but twice.

These are the joint-heaviest defeats in the club’s 75 year history.

In this group, FCSB have just one point on the board, this coming when Anderlecht visited Arena Națională in September.

So, the Red and Blues must win this one to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Anderlecht meantime beat Silkeborg in Brussels on matchday one, but haven’t won since.

The Purples and Whites ran West Ham close in their last outings, but were ultimately beaten 1-0 at home and then 2-1 in London.

With the club 12th in Belgium’s top-flight, Felice Mazzù was been sacked as manager, with no replacement yet been appointed.

In this group though, Anderlecht are just two points below Silkeborg; those two meet in Denmark next Thursday.

So, ahead of Silkeborg’s trip to West Ham in a later kick off, can Anderlecht leap up to second with a win?

Group C: Villarreal vs Hapoel Be’er Sheva

It’s all been too easy for Villarreal in the Europa Conference League, meaning they’ve wrapped up top spot with two games to go.

Including their play-off tie against Hajduk Split, el Submarino Amarillo have won all six matches in this competition, scoring 18 goals.

Their matchday four victory in Vienna proved to be the toughest yet, with Nicolas Jackson’s 87th minute winner snatching the points.

As a result, Unai Emery’s team are seven points clear at the top, meaning they can take it easy in these last two matches.

Below them, the fight for second could go to the wire, with Hapoel Be’er Sheva very much involved.

Elyaniv Barda’s side are actually yet to win in Group C, but having drawn their three games, not against Villarreal, are still in the hunt.

The Camels are two points below Lech Poznań, after the two played out a 1-1 at Turner Stadium on matchday four.

If the Polish champions beat Austria Wien concurrently, the Camels will need a win in Spain to stay in touch.

Even with nothing to play for, Villarreal are likely to be too strong at Estadi Ciutat de València.

Group C: Austria Wien vs Lech Poznań

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Austria Vienna vs Lech Poznań

Austria Wien to draw 1-1 with Lech Poznań- 11/2!

Will Lech Poznań book their place in the Europa Conference League knockout stages?

Back in September, Kristoffer Velde’s brace helped the Ekstraklasa champions hammered Austria Wien 4-1 at home.

Since then, John van den Brom’s team have taken their tally to five points, drawing both home and away with Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

So, if the Polish club can win this one, and Hapoel don’t beat Villarreal away simultaneously, they’ll secure second place.

Austria Wien meanwhile can completely throw the cat amongst the pigeons if they can claim victory.

Manfred Schmid’s team have just one point to their name, this coming on matchday one when Hapoel visited Vienna.

So, die Veilchen are now winless in 12 European games but, if they did win this one, all three teams would be in contention to qualify, ahead of the final matchday.

Who will prevail in this crucial match at Franz Horr Stadium?

Group D: Nice vs Partizan Belgrade

Will Partizan Belgrade rubber stamp top spot in Group D with a game to spare?

Last time out, Fousseni Diabaté and Ricardo Gomes were on target as the Serbian giants beat Köln 2-0 at home.

This means Gordan Petrić's team are still unbeaten in this group, sat three points clear.

Thus, a win in Southern France would rubber stamp top spot for Partizan; a draw would edge them a lot closer towards qualification.

Nice meanwhile are hoping to join their visitors on eight points by ending their unbeaten record.

Les Aiglons suffered a shock home defeat to minnows Slovácko a fortnight ago, despite taking the lead through Sofiane Diop.

So, with a trip to Köln to come, Lucien Favre’s team really need a win here if they’re to advance.

Will there be a winner in this crucial clash at Allianz Riviera?

Group D: Slovácko vs Köln

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Slovácko vs Köln

Slovácko to draw 1-1 with Köln- 6/1!

Both these teams have just four points to their name after four games, but both are very much in the hunt to qualify.

Slovácko are making their debut in a UEFA group stage and it wasn’t going to plan, amassing just one point from three games.

However, last time out, late goals from Michal Tomič and Petr Reinberk saw them come from behind to beat Nice at Allianz Riviera.

A famous victory for the Czech Cup winners, and one that reinvigorates their qualification ambitions.

Köln, in contrast, were looking good after two games, but have since lost back-to-back matches against Partizan without scoring.

Die Geißböcke haven’t reached the knockout phase of a UEFA competition in the modern era, but Steffen Baumgart’s team will believe they can change that fact.

Who will massively increase their chances of progression with a win at Městský fotbalový stadion ?

Group E: Vaduz vs AZ Alkmaar

Will AZ Alkmaar wrap up first place in Group E?

The Cheeseheads looked simply unstoppable in this competition, scoring 18 goals in six qualifiers and then starting the group phase with three straight wins.

However, last time out, Pascal Jansen’s team came crashing back down to earth, slumping to a 1-0 defeat in Nicosia.

Nevertheless, AZ remain top, two clear of Dnipro-1, knowing a victory here would secure qualification, and could ensure first place too.

Vaduz meanwhile, despite being second bottom of the Swiss second-tier, have become the first Liechtenstein-based club to qualify for a UEFA group stage.

So far, they’ve got two points on the board, drawing with Apollon Limassol at home and then with Dnipro-1 in Košice.

Alessandro Mangiarratti’s team are, pretty much, out of the running to qualify, but will be desperate to claim an historic win.

Will AZ be too strong at Rheinpark Stadion?

Group E: Dnipro-1 vs Apollon Limassol

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Dnipro-1 vs Apollon Limassol

Dnipro-1 to win 2-0 against Apollon Limassol- 8/1!

It’s looking like being a straight shootout between these two to qualify, so who will win a crucial encounter in Košice?

Dnipro-1 are very much in the catbird seat to achieve this, unbeaten in three and sat on seven points.

Last time out in this competition, Artem Dovbyk’s stoppage time winner saw the Ukrainian league-leaders, just about, beat Vaduz at Rheinpark Stadion.

So, having won 3-1 in Nicosia in the reverse fixture, just a point here would see the phoenix club reach the knockout phase.

Apollon Limassol thereby must win in Slovakia.

They stunned run-away group-leaders AZ last time out; Valentin Roberge the only scorer at GSP Stadium.

So, the Cypriot champion are now onto four points, needing another win to have any hope of reaching the knockout phase for the very first time.

At their temporary home of Košická futbalová aréna, will Dnipro-1 be too strong?

Group F: Shamrock Rovers vs Gent

Shamrock Rovers did remarkably well to get into the group stages, but have been simply outclassed, looking to bow out with a bang.

Since impressively holding Djurgården to a goalless draw, the Hoops have lost all three games, conceding eight and still not scoring themselves.

So, Stephen Bradley’s team have already been eliminated, but they are highly-motivated to claim the club’s first-ever victory in a UEFA group stage, or at least score a goal.

Gent meantime simply need the points in Dublin to keep alive their qualification aspirations.

De Buffalo’s sole victory came in the reverse fixture, losing home and away to Djurgårdens IF subsequently.

Thus, Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s team are on just four points, three below Molde who they hosts next Thursday.

Will the Belgian side be too strong at Tallaght Stadium?

Group F: Molde vs Djurgården

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Molde vs Djurgårdens IF

Molde to draw 1-1 with Djurgården- 13/2!

Djurgårdens IF are making their long-awaited debut in a UEFA group stage, but are on the cusp of wrapping up top spot.

Against the odds, the Swedish side have won their last three European games, first beating Molde in Stockholm.

Joel Asoro scoring in the 91st minute, thereby snatching a 3-2 victory for his team.

Since, the Blue Stripes have also beaten Gent twice, winning 1-0 in Belgium and then 4-2 at Tele2 Arena.

Thus, just a point for Kim Bergstrand and Thomas Lagerlöf’s team will secure first place with a game remaining.

Molde meanwhile are looking to stay in pole position to take second.

Erling Moe’s men were winless prior to back-to-back meetings with Shamrock Rovers, winning 3-0 at home and then 2-0 in Dublin.

This leaves the Norwegian club three points clear of Gent; those two meet at Ghelamco Arena next Thursday

Thus, it’s all to play for in this Scandinavian derby at Røkkeløkka.

Group G: Ballkani vs Slavia Prague

Slavia Prague are the third-highest ranked team competing in the Europa Conference League, but are on the cusp of elimination.

Jindřich Trpišovský's side lost both home and away to CFR Cluj on matchdays three and four, beaten 1-0 at home and then 2-0 in Transylvania.

This means the Slavists are on just four points and, if they were beaten here, their top two hopes would be over.

Given that Slavia Praha have reached the quarter-finals of a UEFA competition in three of the last four seasons, this would be a major disappointment.

In stark contrast, Ballkani are just delighted to be here, becoming the first Kosovar club to compete in a group stage.

On matchday three, Ilir Daja’s team claimed an historic win, beating Sivasspor 4-3 away, courtesy of Ermal Krasniqi’s 94th minute winner.

Having previously held Cluj to a draw in Pristina, Ballkani also have four points, so are equally motivated to claim a win.

Will Slavia Prague’s experience and quality prove the difference at Fadil Vokrri Stadium?

Group G: Sivasspor vs CFR Cluj

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Sivasspor vs CFR Cluj

Sivasspor to draw 1-1 with CFR Cluj- 5/1!

Group G’s top two go had-to-head in central Türkiye, both knowing a win could take them through.

CFR Cluj, against the odds, beat Slavia Praha home and away on matchdays three and four.

Rangelo Janga the match-winner in the Czech capital, before Ciprian Deac and Yuri Matias got the goals at Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu.

So, the Romanian champions are looking to win three successive European games (excluding qualifiers) for the very first time.

Sivasspor meanwhile are also on seven points, after victory in Kosovo a fortnight ago.

Hakan Arslan and Karol Angielski the scorers as they came from behind to defeat Ballkani.

So, depending on the other result, the winner could mathematically qualify; a draw may not help either.

Either-way, both will be targeting three points at New Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium.

Group H: Basel vs Žalgiris Vilnius

As most would’ve predicted, FC Basel are top of Group H, but they still have work to do.

The Swiss side began with back-to-back wins, including a 1-0 victory in Lithuania; Andi Zeqiri the match-winners.

However, since then, RotBlau have failed to beat ŠK Slovan Bratislava, losing 2-0 at home before a thrilling 3-3 draw in Slovakia.

This all means, Alexander Frei’s team are one point clear at the top and, depending on the other result, could secure first place with a win.

Žalgiris Vilnius meantime are bottom but, with all four teams separate by just three points, are far from out of contention.

The Green and Whites’ first-ever victory in a UEFA group stage came a fortnight ago, beating Pyunik 2-1; Fabien Ourega and Renan Oliveira scoring.

However, it could be too little too late for Vladimir Cheburin’s team who, unless they win in Switzerland, could be eliminated.

Anything other than a Basel win at St. Jakob-Park would be a major surprise.

Group H: ŠK Slovan Bratislava vs Pyunik

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ŠK Slovan Bratislava vs Pyunik

Slovan Bratislava to win 2-0 against Pyunik- 11/2!

Group H could hardly be tighter, with the teams on 7, 6, 5 and 4 points, so every game matters.

ŠK Slovan Bratislava are back in the qualification picture, after accumulating four points from two games against group-leaders Basel.

The Slovakian champions won 2-0 at St. Jakob-Park, before a thrilling 3-3 home draw two weeks ago.

Vladimír Weiss, Juraj Kucka and Aleksandar Čavrić on target in the latter.

Despite this, it’s Pyunik who currently occupy second spot.

The Armenian champions have won both home games but lost both on the road, beaten 2-1 in Vilnius most recently.

So, Yegishe Melikyan’s team will fancy their chances of beating Basel in Yerevan next Thursday, but need a result in Bratislava to keep their destiny in their own hands.

Will Pyunik’s issues on the road continue at Tehelné pole?

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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