Sevilla to kick off title defence with home win

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UEFA Europa League title holder Sevilla to beat Feyenoord is the best bet on the card as the tournament’s group stage kicks off with 24 matches across the European continent.

Sevilla is third in the Spanish Primera Division after three rounds but one is not going overboard in talking up its form because it has been satisfactory but little more than that. Sevilla has beaten Getafe at home and Espanyol away in its last two games but it failed to take advantage of Valencia being reduced to 10 men in the opening round of the Spanish Primera Division, conceding a late equalising goal. However, Sevilla’s form is several levels above that of Feyenoord, hence why one rates the Spanish side as an excellent bet.

Feyenoord began its campaign by losing both legs of its UEFA Champions League tie versus Besiktas and things have not got any better for it since it 2-5 aggregate loss. Feyenoord was seconds away from losing its UEFA Europa League tie against Zorya, Elvis Manu’s stoppage-time goal denying the Ukrainian underdog what would have been a remarkable away-goals win. And Feyenoord is 14th in the Dutch Eredivisie following five rounds in which it has failed to win any of its three home matches. Feyenoord fans are feeling miserable right now.

UEFA Europa League champion Sevilla in Seville is mission impossible for Feyenoord. Sevilla has won eight and drawn three of its last 11 home games across all competitions, with the last team to beat Sevilla in front of its own supporters being city rival Betis in March. BetVictor and Coral are offering odds of -200  about Sevilla’s UEFA Europa League defence beginning with a home win over a Feyenoord side that looks set for a poor season on all fronts.

One touched upon Besiktas two paragraphs ago and the Turkish Super Lig side is worth supporting at odds of -238  with Bwin to win its UEFA Europa League home match against Asteras.

Besiktas did not quite make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage, defeating Feyenoord convincingly before losing 0-1 on aggregate to English Premier League giant Arsenal as the Gunners secured their 17th consecutive season of play in the round-robin phase of the tournament. It is the home form of Besiktas that led one to include it in one’s top picks.

One has to go back 12 months to the time when Besiktas last lost at home in any competition. Galatasaray beat Besiktas 3-0 in a Turkish Super Lig derby and, since then, the latter has played 17 home games for nine wins and eight draws. Home numbers like that should be sufficient for Besiktas to get the better of Asteras, whose away form is appalling.

Asteras is 10th in the Greek Super League after three rounds and its chance of climbing the ladder is slim unless it can improve its road performances. Not since March has Asteras won away from home, with its winless streak of 10 road matches including eight losses. Asteras is making its third consecutive appearance in the UEFA Europa League and its away record in the competition reads zero wins, three draws and three losses, including defeats at Maccabi Tel Aviv and Mainz this term. One is all over Besiktas at odds of 1.42.

Finally, Everton is attractively priced at odds of +120  with Betfred and Totesport to start its UEFA Europa League journey with a win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Everton’s position on the English Premier League ladder will improve once its assignments get easier from the middle of October onwards. Everton drew the short straw and copped a first-round game at promoted champion Leicester and then it had home matches versus Arsenal and Chelsea. Everton posted its first English Premier League win of the season at West Bromwich on Saturday to climb to 10th place but two of its next three top-flight games are against Liverpool and Manchester United. Expect Everton to be in a false English Premier League position until the end of the calendar year.

Wolfsburg is 13th in the German Bundesliga following three rounds and its inability to keep clean sheets versus good teams must be of great concern to its fans. Wolfsburg has shut out only one side in its last 20 competitive matches and that was a 0-0 draw at second-tier Darmstadt in the German DFB-Pokal. Good teams have got to fancy themselves versus Wolfsburg, particularly at home, and Everton is a good team based on its form over a long period of time.

Tips Summary

Sevilla to beat Feyenoord
18th September 20:05 GMT
Odds:  -200
Where to Bet: BetVictor, Coral

Besiktas to beat Asteras
18th September 18:00 GMT
Odds:  -238
Where to Bet: Bwin

Everton to beat Wolfsburg
18th September 20:05 GMT
Odds:  +120
Where to Bet: Betfred, Totesport

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