Standard Liege vs. Arsenal – Thursday, 5.55 pm
I don’t see many things transmuting on the pitch. I think Freddie Ljungberg will make more changes, and they will go to Belgium more upbeat, but I imagine Alexandre Lacazette will begin. Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson will start most likely as well, but I am not sure what he will pick defensively.
I thought David Luiz would play, but Ljungberg is limited in choice with the full-backs being hurt. It is not a turning point for Arsenal yet, and I think they will be pleased with a point – that is all they need and will take from the match to be the top.
Manchester United vs. AZ Alkmaar – Thursday, 8 pm
The job is over, and damn, what a week it has been for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The pressure is building from outside the club, but Solskjaer manages it well. He has not been tetchy at the journalists, but it is what it is. He got two huge wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.
I think he will want the momentum and get over that obstacle, which says, have they turned the corner? With two wins, with AZ Alkmaar to come, they have the chance to continue this small little run, so I think they will win easily.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
Wolves vs. Besiktas – Thursday, 8 pm
I think it is 11 unbeaten in the Premier League now, and they have put themselves in a beautiful place, both in the Premier League and Europa League, so they are approving it and understanding it now.
Besiktas used to be one of these uncooperative sides, but they have let go of a level or two in previous seasons. They will park the bus, and Wolves will struggle with this, but I only see a home win despite that.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
CFR Cluj vs Celtic – Thursday, 5.55pm
Last time I went against Celtic at Lazio, they declared a late winner. They got 10th domestic trophy at the weekend – they were on their knees with exhaustion and tiredness, but they have been playing so many games recently. Cluj needs to win to qualify with Celtic.
Celtic lost the previous time they played against Cluj [in the Champions League third qualifying round in August], and I expect the same to happen again. Neil Lennon will make five or six changes, as the job is done and he needs to focus more locally. It has been an inspiring group stage for all of them, but I see them losing here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Rangers vs. Young Boys – Thursday, 8 pm
This group is extensively open, and Rangers just need to win – anything can happen here. It was another conquest against Celtic in the League Cup final when they dominated and controlled the game but just couldn’t put the ball in the net.