Thursday Accumulator: Feisty Foxes to fire, plus five other Europa League bets

Leicester, West Ham, Celtic and Rangers all face crunch clashes on a huge night for British sides in Europe.

The penultimate round of the Europa League group stage takes place on Thursday, and we've put together a list of six bets you can pick from for your latest accumulator.

Before we get into it, it's worth clarifying the qualification processes for the knockout stages of the Europa and Europa Conference Leagues.

Securing top spot in a Europa League group is more valuable this year because the top eight teams in their groups will go straight into the last 16, rather than the last 32, as was the case in recent years.

Then the eight second-placed teams will face a play-off round with the eight third-placed teams from the Champions League group stage to decide who will join them.

And whereas the third-placed teams in the Europa League groups would usually be done with European soccer for the season, this year they will head into the last 32 of the Europa Conference League. Whether that will be welcome is another story entirely!

Before we leap into the acca, Beth has news of a tasty Planet price boost...

Leicester City vs Legia Warsaw

Legia Warsaw Cezary Miszta vs Leicester Sep21

We're almost into December and Leicester City fans are still waiting for their side's season to ignite as the Foxes lie 12th in the Premier League and third in Group C.

And the home form of Brendan Rodgers' men is the biggest cause for concern with just one win from their last eight games and two Europa League draws in that time at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes are very much in the thick of it though and can still finish in any position from top to bottom of the group. However, a repeat of their loss in Warsaw will make things very difficult heading into a tricky-looking final group game in Naples.

Legia have lost four of their last five away games but a 1-0 win at Spartak Moscow proves that they can be a handful and they will play with no fear after beating the Foxes earlier this season.

So while we're betting on Leicester to play like their Europa League life depends on it and secure the win, we've seen enough this season to take a chance on a home win and both sides to score at a tasty price.

Rapid Vienna vs West Ham

West Ham Michail Antonio vs Rapid Vienna Sep21

It has been a fairy-tale season for West Ham thus far, mounting a serious top-four challenge in the Premier League and ascending to the top of Group H, securing qualification for the last 16 with two games to spare.

However, David Moyes' side will still be firing on all cylinders as top spot and an automatic place in the last 16 is still up for grabs.

The Hammers' last three games have been a mixed bag, with a famous win over Liverpool sandwiched in between a surprising Europa League draw at bottom side Genk and defeat at Wolves in their last outing.

However, that loss was one of just three all season for West Ham and they are unbeaten in Group H with three wins and a draw, including a routine 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture.

Said Benrahma was on target in that match and nabbed another two in Belgium, so he is the man to watch at the Allianz Stadion, but with the hosts having won their last four at home by an aggregate score of 11-5, we're going for over 2.5 goals in Austria.

You can also get a Planet Boost by combining both teams to score in the West Ham game, with BTTS in Spurs' trip to NS Mura in the Europa Conference League.

Previously 3/1, the combination can now be backed at 7/2. Spurs beat Mura 5-1 in the reverse fixture.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Celtic

David Turnbull Celtic Jeremie Frimpong Bayer Leverkusen Sep21

After a September stumble, Celtic have won seven and drawn one of their last eight games. That has included a pair of victories over Ferencvaros to resurrect their Europa League bid which started with two Group G losses.

The Bhoys lie third, one point behind Real Betis and four shy of leaders Leverkusen, and defeat in Germany will not only end their chances of topping the group, but could consign them to the Europa Conference League.

Leverkusen are fourth in the Bundesliga, thanks in no small part to the goals of Patrik Schick, who has netted eight times in nine games.

And if that wasn't enough, in Florian Wirtz they have one of German soccer's brightest young talents and a man who has shown a great liking for the Europa League with three goals in four group games, including one in Leverkusen's 4-0 demolition of the Bhoys in the reverse fixture.

This is a very different Celtic side from that match but the Bhoys have looked a step behind both Leverkusen and Real Betis this season, with the Spaniards defeating Celtic but then losing comfortably to the Germans.

We really fear for Celtic here so we're happy to go with the home win at the BayArena.

Rangers vs Sparta Prague

Steven Davis Rangers Michal Sacek Sparta Prague Sep21

The Giovanni van Bronckhorst era started with a whimper rather than a bang as Rangers were defeated 3-1 at home to Hibernian in their League Cup semi-final last weekend. Next up it's a baptism fire in the Europa League as the Gers face a match they simply can't afford to lose.

With Lyon having wrapped up top spot with two games to go, Sparta Prague lead the chasing pack from Rangers by virtue of their win over the Scots in September, and another defeat will mean third place will be the highest Rangers can finish in Group A.

Rangers' loss against Hibs was their first defeat in nine games so the alarm bells won't be ringing just yet and with Sparta having won just one of their last four matches, this match represents a great opportunity for the hosts to get back to winning ways.

However, we've got a sneaky suspicion that the loss of Steven Gerrard will take more than a game for the Rangers players to get over and this represents a great opportunity for Prague to at least find the net in the Scottish capital.

So we're backing both teams to score in the next leg of our acca.

Monaco vs Real Sociedad

Martin Zubimendo Kevin Volland Monaco Real Sociedad Sep21

One of the biggest surprises in European soccer this season has been the form of Real Sociedad, who have put together an amazing 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions since losing to Barcelona on the opening day.

And pulling the strings has been a familiar name to Premier League fans as David Silva is proving there is life after Man City, setting a great example for the youngest squad in La Liga.

The only criticism of Sociedad and the reason they are not higher than second in La Liga or Group B is that eight of their last 14 matches have ended in draws, including three of their four Europa League group games.

And speaking of ties, Monaco are becoming a bit of a draw specialist themselves having shared the spoils in their last three games.

The reverse fixture ended, you've guessed it, 1-1 but with PSV snapping at both their heels a draw will not suit either team and we're expecting an open encounter in the Principality. So both teams to score is once again an acca-friendly addition.

PSV Eindhoven vs Sturm Graz

Armindo Bruma PSV Eindhoven Nov21

It's fair to say that PSV have underperformed in the Europa League this season with just one win and two draws from their four Group B games, and the Dutch giants currently lie third, a point behind Real Sociedad and three behind leaders Monaco.

However, with the top two playing each other PSV have a golden opportunity to improve their position with a game at home to Sturm Graz, who are bottom of the group with just one point from four games and have lost four and drawn two of their last six matches in all competitions.

This looks like a slam-dunk home win on paper as PSV have won three and drawn one of their last four games, and they have an in-form attacking player at their disposal with Portuguese ace Bruma netting three in his last two games.

However, the Austrians did manage a 1-1 draw at Real Sociedad in their last Group B match and PSV have conceded in both of their home games in the Europa League group stage, so we're going for a home win and both teams to score in Holland.

READ MORE: The Analyst: Newcastle should pick up points under Howe but for bookings rather than wins

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