We are nearing the end of the Europa League group stage and several teams are fighting for a place in the next round. Here are our Europa League Matchday 5 picks and analysis.
Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham could wrap up a place in the Europa League Round of 32 if they win their games on Thursday. Meanwhile, PSV will play a seemingly straightforward home clash with Sturm Graz, and a victory would put pressure on Monaco and Real Sociedad in Group B. Leicester will also bid to leapfrog Legia Warsaw in Group C.
Here are my Europa League Matchday 5 picks and predictions (Odds via SI Sportsbook, and pick confidence is based on a one-to-five star scale).
Europa League Matchday 5 Picks
Bayer Leverkusen -1 Asian Handicap vs. Celtic (-133) ★★★
West Ham to Beat Rapid Vienna and Under 4.5 Goals (-105) ★★★★
PSV Eindhoven -1.75 Asian Handicap vs. Sturm Graz (-125) ★★★
SEE ALSO: All Europa League Odds
Europa League Matchday 5 Predictions
Bayer Leverkusen -1 Asian Handicap vs. Celtic (-133)
Leverkusen sits atop Group G with 10 points after three wins and a draw following four games.
They’ve scored 11 goals while conceding just twice in those matches, with the club’s most impressive performance coming at Celtic Park in a 4-0 victory.
Meanwhile, Celtic lost its opening two games of the group stage while giving up eight goals, but it beat Ferencváros at home and away to bounce back. They’re now just one point behind Real Betis and four back of Leverkusen, so Celtic could still qualify for the Round of 32.
But the team is unlikely to be successful in Germany. Leverkusen knocked off Bochum over the weekend to climb up to fourth in the Bundesliga, and they look vastly superior to Celtic.
West Ham to Beat Rapid Vienna and Under 4.5 Goals (-105)
West Ham beat Rapid Vienna 2-0 when the teams met in London back in September. Manager David Moyes fielded a strong squad, and goals from Declan Rice and Said Benrahma led the Hammers to victory.
They took the maximum of nine points over their first three games, sweeping aside Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Vienna, and Genk.
However, West Ham could only draw 2-2 while visiting Genk during its last game. That left them four points ahead of Dinamo Zagreb, six ahead of Genk, and seven clear of Rapid Vienna.
The Hammers only need a point on Thursday to advance, but they should win this matchup. Rapid Vienna has lost three of their four matches, and the team’s Austrian Bundesliga results have been underwhelming.
PSV Eindhoven -1.75 Asian Handicap vs. Sturm Graz (-125)
PSV surged to a 4-1 win over Sturm Graz when these teams met in Austria on Sept. 30.
The Dutch squad finished with 60% of the possession, 17 shots on goal, and nine on target, so PSV offered good value during the win.
The team is terrific while attacking. Key forwards Eran Zahavi and Cody Gakpo are out injured, but PSV can still call upon Mario Gotze, Bruma, and Carlos Vinicius, so they should be able to get the better of Sturm Graz.
The Austrian side sits at the bottom of the group with just one point after four games, and it may struggle in the Netherlands on Thursday.
Picks made on 11/24/2021 at 4:58 a.m. ET