Matchday 4 - Group G- L - Europa Three Points
By Joe, bettingexpert.com | Edited
Google+: Joe Bexpert
Fulham looks to take on Polish counterpart at Craven Cottage, London and forward Bobby Zamora looks good to hit some goals this midweek when Wisla Krakow comes for a visit. Up north, Celtic is set to meet Rennes while Schalke 04 takes on AEK Larnaca.
Celtic vs. Rennes (Group I)
Both teams finally opened their account in Group I by drawing in France a fortnight ago with 1-1. This gave hope for both teams to see that a second spot in the group is still within reach but however if they draw once again in Celtic Park then the mission could get a bit tougher than expected.
Celtic slipped once again at home last weekend over a 0-0 draw against Hibernian leaving them 12 points adrit form their rivals, Rangers, at the top of the SPL. To make matters worse Celtic has also dropped to third place in the SPL with Motherwell playing one more game. It was disappointing for manager Neil Lennon to see his side beat Hiberian in the midweek and come up short in the weekend. He will need to instill some of kind of momentum in Europe or else they are out. If that’s the case, they might as well attack rather than defend at home on Thursday. Maybe an attacking formation including Samaras could be considered.
Verdict: A win will give hope, a draw could see their European come to an end. Home win.
Schalke 04 vs. AEK Larnaca (Group J)
This should be a simple and easy conclusion between these two teams when they meet yet again but this time in Germany where Schalke 04 hosts AEK Larnaca. Last time these two teams met in Cyprus, it was a crush defeat for the Cypriots with a 5-0 away for Schalke 04 and that sent them to the top of Group J. This midweek could see Schalke 04 make further grounds in the group and bridge further from their nearest contender for the top spot. ThLarnacae weekend also bought out positive outcome to their Bundesliga status with a 3-1 home win over Hoffenheim taking them second in the league, just four points behind Bayern. It is unclear how many players will be recalled from the weekend win while it is seen that some of the fringe players will get a chance.
Larnaca doesn’t seem to be up for the task last time around and what can you expect from them this time. Playing second fiddle once again to Schalke 04 looks like the prospect this coming Thursday but if they would have their own say then they would try to avoid this feat however it comes along. Their run up to the trip to Germany has been a positive one as they won their weekend game with 2-0 over Alki, with both G. Skopelitis and Garcia-Garcia getting the goals.
Verdict: First or second team, no excuse to beat Larnaca on German soil.
Fulham vs. Wisla (Group K)
Craven Cottage, home of Fulham, is seriously a battleground for any away team thinking that they are able to get points off the Cottagers. That isn’t to say that Twente was able to get a point on Matchday 1 but after looking at the group table, Fulham is looking for nothing less than three points if they want to break away from Twente’s dominance at top spot of group K. The weekend put manager Martin Jol in much happy mood after winning away 2-0 over Wigan and giving themselves some breathing space at the relegation zone. It is likely that Martin Jol will require his strongest 11 to start on Thursday and last time they faced Wisla Krakow, a draw was the outcome. Moussa Dembele is susepended.
The Polish outfit are still within a chance to call for a qualifying spot for the next round, however sitting joint bottom with Odense BK with three points, something has to give. Wisla showed some lack of concentration in their game against Fulham in Matchday 3 and if it wasn’t an easy ride. They struggled in front of goal and their defense weren’t always solid. That needs to be reactified or they could be on the verge to pay heavily this time around. Their run up to the Thursday match saw them go down 1-0 at home in their domestic league. This spells trouble and they are also without Osman Chavez for the trip to London.
Verdict: Fulham should finish off what they missed out last time they met.
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