The Champions League fixtures alternate at this stage of the competition. With an extra round to squeeze in, the Europa League teams have no such luxury, giving them just a week between the first and second legs of their ties.

Teams are back in action this Thursday as they look to book a place in the last 16 of the Europa League. Four matches take centre stage in this article, featuring two English clubs that are becoming increasingly reliant on this competition.


ARSENAL vs BATE Borisov (5:55pm)

Arsenal are at threat of an upset after losing 1-0 in the first leg. Without the suspended Alexandre Lacazette and having failed to secure an away goal, the Gunners need a special performance under the lights to turn this around.

Unai Emery has every right to be confident, though, having seen Chelsea comfortably beat BATE Borisov in the group stage.

Emery is still dealing with an injury crisis and could be without Aaron Ramsey on Thursday. Mesut Ozil’s availability remains an unknown. With a top four finish uncertain, the Europa League should be Emery’s priority. This is one of their biggest matches of the season.

Despite last week’s disappointment, the Gunners are a good bet to sneak through in north London on Thursday night. BATE were solid, but it’s a different challenge away from home.

TIP: Arsenal to win (-1) @ 4/11

PREDICTED SCORE: Arsenal 3-1 BATE Borisov (Priced at 10/1 with 888sport)



A thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg puts Eintracht Frankfurt in command of this tie as it heads to Germany.

The Bundesliga side have drawn their last five matches in all competitions to drop off the pace domestically, but will be confident of progressing against a Shakhtar Donetsk side that conceded 10 goals in three away Champions League group matches.

Shakhtar were fortunate to get a draw last week. They ended the match with 10 men and were outplayed for the majority of the 90 minutes. Midfield lynchpin Taras Stepanenko is suspended for this clash after getting sent off last time out.

Goals are to be expected at Commerzbank-Arena. 888sport’s football betting offers over 2.5 at 4/6, which looks a great price with the visitors set to chase the game.

TIP: Over 2.5 goals @ 4/6

PREDICTED SCORE: Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 Shakhtar Donetsk (Priced at 12/1 with 888sport)



Chelsea’s nightmare 2019 continued on Monday as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United. The Stamford Bridge faithful made their feelings towards Maurizio Sarri clear. Failure to win here could result in another managerial switch for the Blues.

Winning against Malmo in the first leg was one of few recent positives for Chelsea. Their two away goals should make this a comfortable enough evening.

Sarri, like Emery, must be looking to the Europa League as his best route back to the Champions League. The home fans were desperate to see Callum Hudson-Odoi on Monday – it will be fascinating to see if Sarri hands him a rare start in this one.

Malmo threatened Chelsea when they got forward in the first leg. While a full fightback remains improbable, the visitors are a good bet to get on the scoresheet.

TIP: Both teams to score @ 6/5

PREDICTED SCORE: Chelsea 2-1 Malmo (Priced at 8/1 with 888sport)


INTER MILAN vs Rapid Vienna (8pm)

Inter are in the box seat for this tie, having won 1-0 in Austria last week. The Mauro Icardi saga rumbles on, but it has not impacted the side on the pitch.

They have won their last three without their star striker, who is set to miss out on Thursday. Inter’s defence has been rock solid at San Siro this season – they will be confident of keeping another clean sheet in this one.

Rapid Vienna have not played away from home since December. They lost that fixture 6-1. Their defence was solid enough in the first leg, but they never posed much of an attacking threat. Good fortune is required to stand a chance of an improbable turn around.

Luciano Spalletti named a strong side for the first leg and will likely to do the same here. This should be a comfortable win for the Serie A giants.

TIP: Inter to win (-1) @ 22/25

PREDICTED SCORE: Inter 3-0 Rapid Vienna (Priced at 15/2 with 888sport)


*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
Sam Cox

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.