Luis Muriel (DK: $8,600): The first Must-Have for the main Europa League slate is Luis Muriel, the Colombian striker for Sevilla. Sevilla enter the slate as one of the heaviest favorites with a favorable matchup against Turkish club, Akhisarspor. Though the match is played away from home, Sevilla likely won’t mind considering the nature of their victory in the reverse leg. In the previous meeting between the two clubs, Sevilla cruissed to a 6-0 victory. Currently, the Spanish club sit atop Group J with 6 points, while Akhisarspor have yet to win in the competition with three consecutive defeats. To make matters worse for the Turkish club, they’ve only scored once while conceding nine times. Akhisarspor’s struggles aren’t limited to Europa League as well; the Turkish club has also struggled domestically. Akhisarspor only has three victories in their fifteen competitive matches this season (domestic cup, league, and Europa League). Meanwhile, Sevilla have been largely impressive this season across all competitions, with their lone Europa League defeat coming at the hands of FC Krasnodar and only one defeat in their last seven domestic league matches. It is also worth noting that this defeat was to Spanish giants, Barcelona. Sevilla’s strong form and favorable matchup against Akhisarspor bodes well for striker, Luis Muriel, who looks to add to his season tally of goals. The Colombian striker found the back of the net in the 6-0 reverse fixture, and was a threat throughout the match. In addition, Muriel also contributed through an assist. Though he has found playing time difficult to come by due to the wealth of attacking options that Sevilla boasts, he is entering the match in fine form after being given a greater opportunity to showcase his talents. Muriel has two goals and an assist in his last three matches and will likely be one of the centerpieces in Sevilla’s attack. For these reasons, we recommend locking in the Colombian striker as a Must-Have in your lineups.
Igor Stasevich (DK: $4,600): The second Must-Have for the slate is Igor Stasevich, the Belarusian midfielder for FC BATE Borisov. The Belarusian club enters the slate as heavy underdogs in their home fixture against English powerhouses, Chelsea. While BATE might not be the most recognizable name in terms of clubs, the club have competed in both the Champions League and Europa League in recent years. Chelsea unsurprisingly are at the top of the group with a perfect 3-0-0 record, while BATE sit in last place with 3 points after failing to pick up a result since the first Europa League match of the season. The reverse fixture saw Chelsea comfortably win 3-1 at home and the English club expected to field a rotated side. This would be typical to something that Maurizio Sarri has done all season, though he will be without multiple starters. In addition, Eden Hazard is expected to start the match on the bench after having recently recovered from a back injury. BATE’s hope is to pick up a result in this match, which is certainly plausible given the Belarusian club’s form at home this season. BATE have only two defeats at home (all competitions) this season, with both losses occurring in European competition. Though Chelsea have yet to taste defeat this season and are unlikely to do so in this matchup, our research suggests that this match may be more challenging than anticipated. Igor Stasevich is a prime candidate to exceed value in this matchup due to a favorable price point. The Belarusian midfielder is priced at $4,600, making him a value play at midfield and also allowing for spending up at various positions. Stasevich takes all set pieces for BATE, giving the midfielder a high floor. This can be observed through the previous three Europa League matches this season in which the midfielder averaged approximately 10 points per match. Stasevich is also likely to be involved in goals that BATE scored, with the midfielder having two assists out of the four goals that BATE have scored in the Europa League. Because of a cheap price and a high floor with the ability to have lineup flexibility after using a value play, we recommend locking in the Belarusian midfielder in your lineups as a Must-Have.
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