Thursday Night Football – Preview and Betting Picks
Arsenal vs PSV
Mikel Arteta goes into the rescheduled match with PSV on Thursday with an interesting dilemma; field a changed XI and give his first team players some rest or go all out with a strong side to set his team up for first position in the group? We wait to see which he chooses.
Beating PSV will mean Arsenal will need only 2 points from their final two matches to top group A.
Ruud van Nistelrooy’s team are just 2 points behind Arsenal and will be aiming to climb over the Gunners into first place by claiming all 3 points in London.
Arsenal Team News
The new Thursday/Sunday routine seems to already be taking its toll on Arsenal as the team barely had time for a training session between their trip to Norway to face Bodo/Glimt and their draining Sunday fixture with Leeds.
Mikel Arteta will likely rest players involved on Sunday as a Premier League trip to Southampton is on the horizon. However, he might pick a stronger than expected side similar to what he did against Bodo.
Matt Turner, Rob Holding, Sambi Lokonga, Fabio Vieira, and Eddie Nketiah are nearly guaranteed to be starters with one of Xhaka or Odegaard playing in the midfield. In defense, William Saliba could partner Rob Holding while Marquinhos and Reiss Nelson should make up the front three
Oleksandr Zinchenko, Emile Smith-Rowe and Mohammed Elneny remain unavailable due to injuries.
Arsenal starting XI
Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Saliba, Tierney; Lokonga, Vieira, Odegaard; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson. (4-3-3)
PSV Team News
PSV head to London buoyed by a run of eleven goals scored in two matches but have some injury worries. Ismael Saibari is out for the rest of the year after picking up a hamstring injury against SC Heerenveen, while Yorbe Vertessen will miss several weeks after picking an injury in the same game.
Van Nistelrooy will still have main man Cody Gakpo available to trouble the Arsenal defense. The Dutchman has had 24 goal involvements so far this season with 13 goals and 11 assists and will be a constant danger to the Gunners defense.
PSV starting XI: Benitez; Mwene, Ramalho, Obispo, Max; Sangare, Gutierrez; Simons, Veerman, Gakpo; Til
Prediction: Arsenal know a win puts them in perfect position to top the group. Playing at a raucous Emirates Stadium, they should have the home crowd cheering them on to a victory. We expect Arsenal to win this game 2-1.
Our betting picks
Fulham vs Aston Villa
Fulham and Aston Villa need a win and need it now. Neither team has won any of their last three games and they will both be trying to fix that.
Aston Villa lost 2-0 to Chelsea at Villa Park last time out. They have also won just two of their opening 10 league games this season and currently sit just one place above the relegation zone.
Fulham pegged Bournemouth back twice on Sunday to stop a run of two consecutive losses and currently sit in 12th position with 12 points from 10 matches in the English Premier League.
Nathaniel Chalobah will sit out the match as he serves the final game of his three-match ban after a straight red card against Newcastle.
Manor Solomon (knee injury), Layvin Kurzawa (slight knock) and Kenny Tete (slight knock) are also unavailable due to injury.
Fulham’s main man, Aleksandar Mitrovic, has scored seven goals in nine Premier League matches this season and is expected to continue to lead the line for the Cottagers.
Fulham starting XI: Leno; Reid, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha, Cairney; Willian, Pereira, Kebano; Mitrovic (4-2-3-1)
The pressure mounts for Frank Lampard as his side have struggled to find the back of the net this season, with only 7 goals scored so far this campaign. They got a boost with Leon Bailey’s return from injury against Chelsea and his direct attacking style could be useful in breaking down the Fulham defense.
Tyrone Mings is expected to shake off the knock he picked up in the loss against Chelsea and should be back in the heart of defense. Phillipe Coutinho and Emi Buendia could also return to the starting XI as Lampard continues to tinker with his side.
Aston Villa starting XI:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins, Ings. (4-3-2-1)
Prediction: Fulham have been solid at Craven Cottage all season and should be able to easily see of an Aston Villa side that is just above the relegation zone. Fulham win 2-1
Our betting picks
Leicester vs Leeds
Brendan Rodgers knows anything less than a victory against Leeds on Thursday will finally cost him his job. With James Maddison suspended, his task will be even harder.
A positive for the Foxes going into the match is that they kept consecutive clean sheets in their last two home matches and a win against Leeds will move them off the bottom of the table.
Leeds will feel hard done by for not getting at least a point from their match against Arsenal, they dominated the second half of the contest and fluffed a great chance to score when Patrick Bamford pulled his penalty kick wide of the goal.
Sitting in 16th place, Leeds have earned only two points from their last six matches and need to start winning again if they’re to avoid Leicester’s predicament.
The creative impetus for Leicester will shift to Harvey Barnes as James Maddison misses the match after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Crystal Palace.
Jonny Evans could be involved if he passes a fitness test ahead of the match. Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring strain) , Ryan Bertrand (knee injury) , and Ricardo Pereira (Achilles tendon injury) will also miss the match due to injuries.
Leicester City starting XI:
Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Faes, Justin; Soumare; Albrighton, Tielemans, Dewsbury-Hall, Barnes; Daka (4-1-4-1)
Leeds will be without Stuart Dallas (broken leg), Adam Forshaw (ankle injury), Leo Hjelde and Pascal Struijk who picked up a knock in training.
Patrick Bamford returned from injury against Arsenal and should start against Leicester too. Junior Firpo could regain his left-back spot after Pascal Struijk effectively deputized for him against Arsenal.
Leeds United starting XI:
Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Cooper, Firpo; Adams, Roca; Sinisterra, Aaronson, Harrison; Bamford. (4-2-3-1)
Prediction: Leeds looked very good against Arsenal. If they can play that way again, they’re good value to win at the King Power Stadium.
Our betting picks
Osasuna vs Espanyol
Espanyol head to the El Sadar Stadium hoping to inflict a third consecutive defeat on hosts, Osasuna.
A slender 1-0 victory over Real Valladolid gave Espanyol their first home win of the season while Jagoba Arrasate’s side lost 2-0 to Villareal
Aimar Oroz, Abde Ezzalzouli and Ante Budimir all all available for the game, which will be sure to make the Osasuna fans happy.
Osasuna starting XI:
Herrera; Cruz, David Garcia, Unai Garcia, Vidal; Torro, Moncayola; Avila, Oroz, Gomez; Kike. (4-2-3-1)
Martin Braithwaite is expected to return to the matchday squad for the first time since his sending off against Valencia almost three weeks ago.
Espanyol Predicted XI:
Lecomte; Olivan, Cabrera, Calero, Gil; de Souza Costa; Exposito, Puado, Darder; Joselu, Braithwaite (4-1-3-2)
Prediction: While Osasuna will be desperate for a win and have the support of the El Sadar behind them, the form of Joselu (7 goals scored this season) as well as the returning Braithwaite should tip this clash in Espanyol’s favour.
Our betting picks
Barcelona vs Villareal
Barcelona need a positive response after losing the El Clasico and edging towards an early Champions League exit.
Tonight, they host a Villareal side that were comfortable 2-0 winners over Osasuna last time out. The Yellow Submarine will also be chasing a European spot this season.
Barca, on the other hand, were unbeaten in the La Liga before their defeat to Real Madrid, winning seven consecutive La Liga games.
Hector Bellerin should be back in the matchday squad after making a full recovery from the injury he picked up last month.
Xavi is likely to ring the changes for the visit of Villarreal but is short of options at right-back.
Barcelona starting XI:
Ter Stegen; Alonso, Garcia, Kounde, Balde; Pedri, Busquets, Gavi; Fati, Lewandowski, Torres (4-3-3
Gerard Moreno is still out with a hamstring injury while Francis Coquelin (calf injury) and Juan Foyth (knee injury) remain unavailable.
Villarreal starting XI:
Rulli; Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Mandi; Parejo, Capoue, Baena, Pino; Danjuma, Jackson. (4-4-2)
Prediction: Barcelona are eager to banish the memories of the El Clasico loss and will have enough firepower to get the win against a Villareal side that will provide them with a stern test. Barcelona win 2-0
Our betting picks
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/ 8 months ago
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