It’s do or die for some teams as clubs lay it all on the line to earn qualification to the knockout phase.
Here’s our best picks for Matchday 6 of the Europa League.
Slavia Prague v Astana
Because of what’s on the line, this matchup between Slavia Prague and Astana could be considered one of the matches of the round.
Prague enters this clash one point ahead of the visitors and obviously need to only avoid defeat in order to progress to the knockout phase.
Astana certainly won’t die wondering and with coach Stanimir Stoilov telling the media that his team will obviously employ a more attacking lineup. Slavia coach Jordi Cruijff countered by saying that his side would go for the jugular and not park the bus for a draw.
If the coaches are to be believed, this should make for a very open contest and given the fact that Astana have won just two of their last 18 away matches in Europe, we’re confident of siding with the home side.
Prediction: Slavia Prague @ $1.80
Real Sociedad v Zenit St Petersburg
Both teams have secured their passage to the next round but the prize on offer in this one will be top spot in the group.
Zenit need only avoid defeat and they will earn the title of group winners and they’ll fancy their chances in doing so against a Sociedad side that has won just once in their past five outings in all competitions.
Roberto Mancini’s side have won five of their past six matches in this competition and have clearly been the best team in the group – they also comfortably took care of their opponents in the reverse fixture in Russia 3-1.
We’re confident the away side can emerge with at least a draw and keep their undefeated status in check.
Prediction: Zenit or draw @ $1.75