SOUTHAMPTON’S super start to the season ended spectacularly against Everton but they can get back on track tonight.
Ronald Koeman’s taking the Europa League seriously and fielded two full-strength sides for the previous round and was rewarded with a 5-0 aggregate success over Vitesse.
If anything Midtjylland are poorer than the Dutch and if the Saints are serious it should be another crushing win.
Midtjylland won the Danish title for the first time but lost coach Glen Riddersholm and were beaten on away goals by APOEL in the Champions League qualifiers.
Earlier they’d struggled past Gibraltar minnows Lincoln Red Imps so the English side should have nothing to be scared about.
Graziano Pelle is expected to start and is always a goal threat but Sadio Mane starred in Europe for Red Bull Salzburg and is my pick to score at 21-20 with Coral. An alternative would be Shane Long if he’as given a runout and the Irishman is 7-5 with bet365.
Saints are no bigger than 4-11 at Betfred to win so go with minus one at 20-21 at Betfred.
Ajax were gutted to crash out of the Champions League qualifiers with defeat at home to Rapid Vienna and will be looking to make amends.
Czechs Jablonec stand between them and the group stage and having started the league season with two wins they should be okay.
Again Ajax are short at 4-6 with Betfred but with Jablonec struggling in their league the minus one again is a good option at 17-10 with McBookie.
Borussia Dortmund are the biggest name involved at this stage and they’ve started well under new coach Thomas Tuchel with four wins including a 4-0 thumping of Borussia Monchengladbach in their Bundesliga opener.
Odd are going well in Norway but should be no match for the Germans who will however be without star man Marco Reus. There’s a big gulf in class between the teams and I’m chancing Dortmund at 10-11 with BetVictor -2AH.
Molde on the other hand are having a nightmare campaign and could slip up at home to Standard Liege who have won their last nine qualifying matches in the competition and are 9-5 at 888sport to make it 10 out of 10.
Athletic Bilbao head for Zilina after winning the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate. That may have taken a lot out of them and they face Barca again in the opening La Liga fixture this weekend.
Bilbao should win though at 5-6 with William Hill if they go strong and if he starts back Aritz Aduriz to score first.
Dortmund -2 AH
(5-6, William Hill)
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