The Champions League makes way for the Europa League tonight, as the Premier League’s three representatives hope to secure their place in the knockout stages come the turn of the year.
Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanders can secure their place in the draw for the last 32 on December 16 tonight, which would be a timely boost before returning to domestic matters at the weekend.
Manchester United meanwhile have already progressed and look set to play a youthful side against Astana.
Wednesday 27 November Silver Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Lionel Messi (346) 4p
- Top Forward: Lionel Messi (346) 4p
- Top Midfielder: Daniel Parejo (285) 4p
- Top Defender: Dayot Upamecano (233) 4p
- Media: Joao Felix (880) 3p
Ahead of tonight’s Europa League fixtures, here is the latest activity on the Index.
Lionel Messi (£6.51) Majestic on Milestone Evening
It was Lionel Messi’s 700th game in a Barcelona shirt on Wednesday night, and the five-time Ballon d’Or certainly put on a show befitting of the occasion.
Lionel Messi’s senior Barcelona career by numbers:
• 700 games
• 613 goals
• 237 assists
• 34 trophies
We have truly been blessed to watch him. pic.twitter.com/lNUWEClU2t
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 27, 2019
A goal and two assists in the 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund saw the diminutive Argentine take home both the Star Player and Top Forward Dividends, as the forward gave a timely reminder as to why he’s the benchmark when it comes to being the world’s best.
This weekend he’ll face Atletico Madrid, a side he’s enjoyed playing in the past having scored 29 goals in all competitions against Los Rojiblancos, meaning there could be a rush for Traders to include him in their portfolios.
Reece James (£2.65) Shines for Chelsea Once More
Although it wasn’t the result Chelsea wanted against Valencia – as Daniel Wass’ late equaliser saw the Blues drop points at the Mestalla – there was one massive positive to take from the game in the shape of Reece James.
The young full-back starred for the Premier League side in Spain, especially as an attacking threat in the first half, before his defensive capabilities where exemplified far more after the break.
Viewed as the long-term successor to Cesar Azpilicueta, James has enjoyed a 24p increase following his display against the La Liga side, although in truth, it was just the latest in a string of promising performances from the defender.
Injury Setback for Chelsea Sees Michy Batshuayi (£0.93) On the Up
Not so good news for Chelsea now as Tammy Abraham was forced off against Valencia looking in some discomfort, following an awkward landing after challenging for a header.
Despite appearing optimistic after the game, admitting he felt “much, much better than when it happened”, his period of absence is still unknown, resulting in a lot of movement for his potential replacement Michy Batshuayi.
The Belgium international replaced Abraham following the incident, and is currently the Index’s biggest riser with a 16.5% increase, as many expect Chelsea’s leading scorer to be out of action for a few weeks.
Batshuayi has mustered a somewhat meagre five goals in all competitions this season for the Blues, although the chance to start on a regular basis in Abraham’s absence could help him rediscover his best form.
RB Leipzig Duo Enjoy Notable Price Increase
Of those sides that did qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday, RB Leipzig did so in by far the most dramatic way.
Losing 2-0 heading into the 90th minute, a brace from Emil Forsberg (£1.37) in added time saw the German side book their place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in the club’s fledging history.
Those two goals certainly helped Forsberg earn some notoriety amongst Traders, with his price increasing by 14p, while another top Leipzig performer came in the formidable shape of Dayot Upamecano.
The centre-back earned the Top Defender Dividends on Wednesday, seeing his price improve by 15p. The young Frenchman is a name that could be prominent across the weeks and months, especially with links over a move to the Premier League failing to go away.