Most Read Football

Champions League review: A night to forget for Manchester City1

Man City lose, Man United cruise

Man City in shock defeat, Paul Pogba helps Man United to victory and a red card for Cristiano Ronaldo - all in a review of Wednesday's European action.

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games2

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League kicks off on Thursday with Chelsea and Arsenal fancied for success. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks down in tears after being sent off3

Ronaldo sent off for Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo could miss an expected return to Old Trafford with Juventus after being sent off for the first time in his Champions League career.

Middlesbrough players celebrate Britt Assombalonga's goal in the Sky Bet Championship4

Sky Bet Championship round-up

Middlesbrough keep up the pace and QPR carry on their recent resurgence, in our review of Wednesday's action in the second tier.

We're backing a Bundesliga side for success in the Europa League this season5

Europa League outright preview

Arsenal and Chelsea may find themselves as favourites for Europa League glory this season, but Tom Carnduff is looking elsewhere.

Free football betting tips and odds: Arsenal v Ostersunds and Zenit St Petersburg v Celtic in the Europa League

Football
Nacho Monreal celebrates
Nacho Monreal celebrates

George Pitts has four selections for you as the Europa League is reduced to 16 teams at the end of Thursday night's action.

Europa League recommended bets

2pts Arsenal to win and under 3.5 goals in total at 7/5

2pts Zenit to win and both teams to score at 11/4

1pt Napoli to win with over 2.5 goals in total at 9/1

1pt Michy Batshuayi to score and Borussia Dortmund to win at 3/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record.

Arsenal v Ostersunds (2005 GMT)

Arsenal go into the second leg of the last 32 with a comfortable lead over Ostersunds.

Arsene Wenger fielded a strong side as the Gunners were 3-0 winners, despite the 4G surface and sub-zero temperatures in Sweden.

With Sunday’s Carabao Cup final to consider, you would expect the Frenchman to make changes and field a weaker side with one eye on the Wembley clash with Manchester City.

Mesut Ozil scored the third goal in the first leg in his first Europa League appearance of the season and he is out through illness, but Wenger has confirmed Danny Welbeck will start, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible.

Arsenal are the 9/2 second-favourites in Sky Bet's outright Europa League odds.

The Gunners remain odds-on favourites, with Graham Potter’s side priced as high as 25/2. Their story has been great this term, but I think they will just be focusing on getting a good result on the night, as it is surely the end of the road in their Europa League exploits.

But this game will be like a cup final for Potter’s men, with the opportunity to play at the Emirates – although it remains to be seen whether it will be capacity crowd.

Arsenal have had a week off as they are already out of the FA Cup, so whoever Wenger fields should have fresh legs and do enough to see them through without too much concern.

Zenit St Petersburg v Celtic (1800 GMT)

Celtic travel to Russia with a slight advantage over Zenit, they look to make the last 16 of the Europa League.

Callum McGregor’s 78th-minute strike in the first leg at Parkhead gave the Hoops a slight cushion, making them 7/10 to qualify for the next stage of the competition.

It was a first defeat in Europe (not including qualifying rounds) this season for Roberto Mancini’s side, after winning five and drawing one of their group games.

They won all three of their home fixtures, 3-1, 3-1 and 2-1, so it shows their frailties at the back and I would be tempted to back both teams to score in this one with a place in the last 16 at stake.

An away goal for Brendan Rodgers’ side would be valuable as a 2-1 defeat on the night would see them through. This looks like a tough task but one you know Celtic are capable of if they turn up with the correct attitude and game plan.

I am predicting goals, so a Zenit win with both teams scoring looks a good price at 14/5, while Moussa Dembele is a good 16/5 to score anytime. But Scott Sinclair at 39/10 could be worth a punt, as he comes up against his old Man City boss – although he last week insisted he does not have a point to prove to the Italian.

Rodgers was criticised by a Russian pundit last week for playing ‘football supported by martial arts’ and this will need another backs to the wall, hard-fought defensive performance from the Scottish giants. Zenit’s need for a goal could make it a wide-open contest, and I think Celtic will lose but go through on away goals after an aggregate draw.

Best of the rest...

A few other ties should be done and dusted, with AC Milan and Marseille holding 3-0 leads over Ludogorets and Braga respectively, but close contests elsewhere have set up some exciting ties for the second legs.

Lokomotiv Moscow bagged the away goals with a 3-2 win at Nice, while Atalanta scored two on the road before conceding a late Michy Batshuayi strike to lose 3-2 at Borussia Dortmund. I would expect both teams to score in this one again, as they both go for it and do their all to make the last 16.

Borussia Dortmund loanee Michy Batshuayi
Borussia Dortmund loanee Michy Batshuayi

Batshuayi has been on fire since arriving at Dortmund on loan from Chelsea. We successfully backed him to score and win last week and we are doing the same again this time around.

Serie A leaders Napoli, who dropped into the Europa League after the Champions League group stages, will be going for it as they trail RB Leipzig 3-1 and I expect them to win on the night with over 2.5 goals in the game at a very tempting 6/1.

Lazio should overcome a 1-0 deficit suffered at Steaua Bucharest last week, while Dynamo Kiev will look to make the home advantage count, with a valuable 1-1 draw from last week's first leg at AEK Athens.

Posted at 1625 GMT on 21/02/18.

Related links

Most Read Football

Champions League review: A night to forget for Manchester City1

Man City lose, Man United cruise

Man City in shock defeat, Paul Pogba helps Man United to victory and a red card for Cristiano Ronaldo - all in a review of Wednesday's European action.

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games2

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League kicks off on Thursday with Chelsea and Arsenal fancied for success. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks down in tears after being sent off3

Ronaldo sent off for Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo could miss an expected return to Old Trafford with Juventus after being sent off for the first time in his Champions League career.

Middlesbrough players celebrate Britt Assombalonga's goal in the Sky Bet Championship4

Sky Bet Championship round-up

Middlesbrough keep up the pace and QPR carry on their recent resurgence, in our review of Wednesday's action in the second tier.

We're backing a Bundesliga side for success in the Europa League this season5

Europa League outright preview

Arsenal and Chelsea may find themselves as favourites for Europa League glory this season, but Tom Carnduff is looking elsewhere.

Football Tips

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League kicks off on Thursday with Chelsea and Arsenal fancied for success. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets.

We're backing a Bundesliga side for success in the Europa League this season

Europa League outright preview

Arsenal and Chelsea may find themselves as favourites for Europa League glory this season, but Tom Carnduff is looking elsewhere.

Horses parade in the sun at Sandown Park

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in September 2018.