Roberto De Zerbi Prepares Brighton for Europa League Test Against Marseille
A week after pretending to be 18 again by jumping around and dancing to the wonderfully timeless Undertones and Rezillos in Brighton, Roberto De Zerbi will lead the Seagulls into Europa League action against Marseille on the French Riviera.
The Seagulls started the season with four thumping victories in their first five matches leading to suggestions their Italian manager is the front runner to succeed Pep Guardiola when he eventually leaves Manchester City.
But Brighton have been brought back to earth with a bang by the 3-2 Europa League defeat at home to AEK Athens, followed by the 1-0 Carabao Cup exit at Chelsea and a 6-1 Premier League bashing at Aston Villa.
De Zerbi’s Challenge
It’s not time to rip up his plans and go back to the drawing board but De Zerbi has to fix his side’s defensive shortcomings in a hurry to stop a promising season from imploding. It’s a huge test of his managerial ability which will be put under further scrutiny when Liverpool visit the south coast on Sunday.
That’s going to be an intense affair, with Jurgen Klopp still seething over the controversial defeat at Tottenham. However, De Zerbi can prepare for that by steadying the ship against Marseille, who have lost at both Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco in Ligue 1 since a 3-3 draw with Ajax in Amsterdam opened their own Europa League adventure, a period which has seen Gennaro Gattuso replace Marcelino in the dug-out.
Brighton are 11/8 to triumph with Betway, Betfred and Sky Bet and can be placed in a double with West Ham, who are a best price of 13/8 with SpreadEx, to win at Freiburg. Jarrod Bowen is 16/5 with Betfair and Paddy Power to score at any time for the Hammers while 18-year-old Seagulls striker Evan Ferguson is 21/10 with William Hill to find the net with his Undertones-themed teenage kicks.
De Zerbi will be hoping his side can make the most of their chances against Marseille and get back to winning ways. With the Seagulls’ young stars such as Ferguson ready to give the French side the runaround, it could be a night of celebration for De Zerbi and his team.
Other Sports Bets
Jacksonville may have had the benefit of staying in London following their 23-7 victory over the outclassed Atlanta Falcons at Wembley last weekend but the Jaguars are up against it when they face stampeding Buffalo at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. The Bills are fresh from battering Miami in a 48-20 NFL rout and are 11/8 with Ladbrokes and Coral to win by more than a touchdown. Bills quarterback Josh Allen is a sure thing at 4/6 with bet365 to throw over 1.5 touchdowns.
Can’t get enough golf after Europe’s thrilling Ryder Cup victory? Billy Horschel can be backed each-way at 30/1 with Betway for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland while Eric Cole has decent e/w claims in the Sanderson Farms Championship on the other side of the Atlantic at 20/1 with Coral.