Andre Villas-Boas played a very strong team against Lazio in their opener and the same could apply in Greece on Thursday night, although Messrs Rodgers and Pardew are likely to rotate their teams for Liverpool and Newcastle’s home matches against Udinese and Bordeaux respectively.
Panathinaikos v Tottenham Hotspur 18:00
It will be interesting to see which Tottenham players board the plane for Greece this week, with Spurs brimming with confidence after that 3-2 win at Old Trafford on Saturday night and AVB clearly wants to win this competition as he did with FC Porto two seasons ago.
Villas-Boas will have hoped that fielding a full-strength team against Lazio would have yielded three points although a goalless draw means that Tottenham could do with avoiding defeat against Pana and they are warm favourites at 6/5 (Stan James free bets) to claim a maximum haul.
Hugo Lloris will get another chance to play in goal, with Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Gylfi Sigurdsson also likely to start against a team that lost their Europa League opener 3-0 at Maribor, suggesting that they are there for the taking.
Panathinaikos are really struggling for form domestically at the moment, with those two wins against Motherwell a thing of the past and just one win managed in eight matches including consecutive home draws against lesser opposition.
The home side are 14/5 with BetVictor to beat Spurs who might be rusty considering it could be an untested team that doesn’t include the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
Liverpool v Udinese 20:05
Another Luis Suarez hat-trick at Carrow Road helped Liverpool to a tremendous 5-2 win against Norwich City, although the Uruguayan will be among several first-team players rested for Thursday night’s match against Italian opponents.
Brendan Rodgers has made it crystal clear that the Premier League is a big priority this season and that means playing a second-string team in the Europa League, although Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Fabio Borini will be among those players looking to impress the manager.
The Reds are a best price 4/6 (Betfred) to claim three points following on from that dramatic 5-3 win away to Young Boys where the Merseyside club attacked with purpose and they will be out to do the same thing against Udinese.
Suso is a promising talent who can be backed at 8/1 to score the first goal, while Jonjo Shelvey is eligible to play and the former Charlton midfielder is attractively priced at 12/1 considering he scored twice in Switzerland.
Udinese drew their first match at home to FC Anji Makhachkala, with the Serie A side struggling to get points on the board domestically at the moment and we might see some of their better players given the night off.
The visitors are 21/4 to claim victory which seems a little too big considering both sides will have several changes made to the team, although Udinese missed out on the Champions league and their 2-1 win over Milan two weeks ago is the only victory of the entire season.
Newcastle v Bordeaux 20:05
If Newcastle United make it to the last-32 stage of the Europa League, you might expect Alan Pardew to field a strong team for the knockout rounds of the competition, although it will be a Magpies reserve side that takes to the field on Thursday night as the north-east side looking to build on that goalless draw in Portugal.
The bookies still make Newcastle 6/4 chances to claim victory although the weekend match against Manchester United is a huge one and Pardew will be taking no risks, with the team that faces Maritimo likely to be out in force again, including Shola Ameobi in attack.
Bordeaux have not lost a match all season and come into this match off the back of a 2-0 win in Lyon, with the French side managing to beat Crvena Zvezda in their first group game and odds of 23/10 are available about the visitors continuing their 100% start.