Europa-Cup---Football---v2The UEFA Europa League knockout stage begins this week, with a return to continental action for both Arsenal and Celtic on Thursday. Check out a preview on the two matches below, with odds coming from our friends at 888sport.

All pricing correct at time of writing.

Ostersunds v Arsenal (6:00pm Kick-Off)

Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal side one of the colder parts of Sweden, as they take on Ostersunds, who have enjoyed a fairytale run in the tournament under English manager, Graham Potter.

Ostersunds meteoric rise has seen the club up from the fourth tier of Swedish football in 2011 to fifth in the top flight last season. They stunned Galatasaray earlier in the season back in qualifying and have beaten Hertha Berlin and held Athletic Bilbao in the group stage.

In terms of Champions League qualifying, the Europa League may be the easier chance for Arsenal, with the Gunners now eight points adrift of the top four in the Premier League and despite the loss to rivals Spurs at the weekend, they have been in decent form of late.

This will be a cup final for Ostersunds and the cold, snowy conditions will certainly level the sides to an extent. In reality Arsenal should have this wrapped up over two games but this first leg could be tougher than expected, with a draw looking a good punt and a both teams to score bet worth some attention too at 10/11

Draw bet @17/5

Celtic v Zenit St.Petersburg (8:05pm Kick-Off)

Having dropped out of the Champions League, after being in a group with PSG and Bayen Munich, Celtic take on Zenit St.Petersburg in a tough Europa League match-up at Celtic Park.

Celtic lead the way domestically and are currently on a run of nine wins and a loss in the last ten games played. In the Champions League the hoops were out of their depth against PSG and Bayern, with the French side scoring twelve goals against them over the two meetings.

Zenit are currently in the middle of a Winter break but had lost just once in the previous eight competitive games and were unbeaten in the group stage, winning five of their matches Although the side have played plenty of friendlies, it remains to be seen how match fit they will be.

Celtic will hope that the Winter break will affect Zenit’s sharpness on the pitch, but in reality the Russians will be favourites over the two games. Expect a few goals here, with an Over 2.5 Goal bet at 4/5 worth some attention and Zenit to add more European woe to the Hoops season.

Zenit To WIn @31/20

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