- There are 15 fixtures on Thursday at 12:45 pm and 3:00 pm ET after the opening game on Wednesday
- Napoli heads to Leicester in an early clash of the big guns while West Ham aims to improve poor European record
- See all the odds, best bets and predictions for Europa League Group Stage – Matchday 1 on September 16
The Europa League swings fully into action with a host of top sides targeting the final in Seville next May following Villareal’s triumph last season.
Among the teams favored to win the competition are Napoli, Leicester City, Real Sociedad, West Ham United and Lazio.
Europa League Matchday 1 Odds
|Lokomotiv Moscow vs Marseille||+225||+290||+110|
|Galatasaray vs Lazio||+240||+280||+105|
|Real Betis vs Celtic||-145||+320||+380|
|Rapid Vienna vs Genk||+145||+265||+175|
|Dinamo Zagreb vs West Ham Utd.||+215||+265||+120|
|B. Leverkusen vs Ferencvaros||-425||+600||+1100|
|Red Star Belgrade vs Braga||+130||+245||+215|
|Midtjylland vs Ludogorets||+600||+350||-220|
|Rangers vs Lyon||+160||+255||+165|
|Leicester City vs Napoli||+135||+270||+195|
|Brondby vs Sparta Prague||+170||+255||+160|
|Eintracht Frankfurt vs Fenerbahce||-145||+320||+370|
|PSV Eindhoven vs Real Sociedad||+140||+275||+180|
|Monaco vs Sturm Graz||-245||+400||+6000|
|Olympiakos vs Antwerp||-145||+310||+380|
Odds as of September 15 at DraftKings
Leicester City vs Napoli Prediction
Napoli has won all three of its Serie A games so far and could spring a surprise win at Leicester City in Group C.
Leicester has made an indifferent start to the new campaign with two wins and two defeats in the EPL.
The Italian side is heading into the fixture off the back of an impressive 2-1 home win against mighty Juventus last weekend.
Meanwhile, Leicester was defeated 1-0 by English champions Manchester City – and has already taken a 4-1 hammering at West Ham United this season.
The oddsmakers at DraftKings fancy Napoli at +195 for a win and that is an attractive enough offer to make it worth going against the favorite here.
Moreover, Leicester is slated for a home win at +135 with the draw at +270. Kick-off is at 3:00 pm ET on Thursday.
Leicester is facing Italian opposition for the first time in competition.
Both these teams finished fifth last season. They each exited the Europa League at the last 32 stage.
Now, furthermore, Leicester is facing Italian opposition for the first time in competition.
For the first time in club history, Leicester City are part of the “big six” in terms of squad market value! 💰
Not too bad for a club that wasn’t even inside the top 15 during the 2014/15 season… pic.twitter.com/L1OsPZOQ2u
— MadAboutFoxes (@madaboutfoxes) September 14, 2021
Certainly, Napoli has shown better form this season so far under coach Luciano Spalletti.
It sits third in Serie A with a 2-0 defeat of Venezia and a 2-1 win at Genoa preceding the success against Juventus.
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) September 15, 2021
Significantly, it is undefeated in its last seven fixtures on the road in this competition.
However, Leicester won all three of its home group stage fixtures in 2020-21.
Leicester’s two wins in the EPL, meanwhile, came by 1-0 against Wolves on the opening day and 2-1 at struggling Norwich.
To sum up, Napoli has never won in England. But Spalletti has ignited the team and in the search for value, the away win here looks worth a go.
Pick: Napoli +195
Dinamo Zagreb vs West Ham Utd Prediction
West Ham United starts its first full European campaign since 2006-07 with a demanding trip to Dinamo Zagreb at the start of Group H.
Last time in full European competition, West Ham performed dismally – losing at home and away against Palermo in the UEFA Cup First Round.
— West Ham News (@_WEST_HAM_NEWS_) September 15, 2021
Meanwhile, there were subsequently, two failed attempts to negotiate the qualifying rounds of the Europa League in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Therefore, after an impressive sixth-place finish in the EPL last season, coach David Moyes’ Hammers’ side is determined to make a better impression this time around.
However, Dinamo is impressive form and sits on top of the Croatian league after five wins, one draw and only one defeat.
West Ham striker Michail Antonio has hit four EPL goals already this season.
West Ham, meanwhile, is unbeaten in the EPL and is in eighth place after two wins and two draws.
So the draw looks attractive here at +265 in these teams’ first meeting. Meanwhile, DraftKings prices West Ham as the favorite for a win at +120 with Zagreb at +215. The kick-off is at 12:45 pm ET.
The Croatian side will be buoyed by the fact it overcame West Ham’s fellow Londoners Tottenham Hotspur at the last 16 stage last season – winning 3-0 at home after a 2-0 defeat in England.
However, the key figure could be West Ham striker Michail Antonio who has hit four EPL goals already this season.
Both these teams are confident at present. Therefore, in conclusion, a draw looks most likely.
Pick: Draw +265
Lokomotiv Moscow vs Marseille Prediction
Marseille is in good form in France’s Ligue 1 and looks capable of winning at Lokomotiv Moscow in Group E.
Lokomotiv is unbeaten after seven games and is in third place in Russia – but has drawn three of its last four games.
Meanwhile, Marseille is third in France after winning three times and drawing once.
✈️ Onwards to 𝗠𝗼𝘀𝗰𝗼𝘄 🇷🇺
— Olympique de Marseille 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 (@OM_English) September 15, 2021
At DraftKings, Marseille is favored to win in Moscow at +110. Lokomotiv is priced at +225 with the draw also enticing at +290.
This is the first time these teams have met.
Furthermore, Marseille was the beaten finalist in 2017-18 when it lost 3-0 against Atletico Madrid.
Marseille’s leading goal-getter is Dimitri Payet who has three league goals.
It has been in good goalscoring form with 10 goals so far in Ligue 1.
However, the player to watch may be Lokomotiv’s Fedor Smolov who has hit four goals in four home league games so far.
We have become stronger and more confident.
We are ready.
We are Lokomotiv Moscow 🚂🏆 pic.twitter.com/Fx0Hc9P8RB
— FC Lokomotiv Moscow (@fclokomotiv_eng) September 13, 2021
Marseille’s leading goal-getter, meanwhile, is Dimitri Payet who has three league goals.
Therefore, with Marseille in a buoyant mood, there is a good chance of an away win here.
Pick: Marseille +110
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