Europa League first goalscorer predictions: Swedish start to shine again

There are some top picks in the UEFA Europa League first goalscorer predictions market ahead of the second legs, especially as the eight play-off ties produced 27 goals last week. 

Some of Europe’s giants were in action and got amongst the goals. Galatasaray had a five-goal thriller with Sparta Prague, while Sporting CP hit three past Young Boys in Switzerland.

The 16 teams now head into Thursday’s play-off fixtures with one last chance to keep their European dreams rolling. We look at the UEFA Europa League leading goal-scoring picks to see who could lead their side to the knockout rounds.

Viktor Gyökeres
Sporting CP's Viktor Gyökeres has scored 16 goals this season  – Photo by Icon Sport

UEFA Europa League first goalscorer prediction – Our picks

Sporting CP vs Young Boys – Viktor Gyökeres – 7/2

Sporting stunned relegated Champions League opponents Young Boys with a 3-1 away win last week. The victory encapsulated the free-flowing style of the Portuguese giants, who have scored 19 goals in their last four matches.

A central attacking figure in Sporting’s recent success has been Viktor Gyökeres. The Swedish striker has scored 16 goals in 19 matches in all competitions. He is also in the middle of an electric purple patch, netting 10 goals in his last eight matches.

Gyökeres scored Sporting’s second in the 3-1 win over Young Boys last week –  a 41st-minute penalty following Aurèle Amenda’s own goal. It was the 11th time this season that the 25-year-old struck in the first half.

As a result, Gyökeres is a leading pick in the UEFA Europa League first goalscorer prediction market.

Europa League anytime scorers
Romelu Lukaku is the sixth-highest scorer in Europa League history – Photo by Icon Sport

Roma vs Feyenoord – Romelu Lukaku – 4/1

Romelu Lukaku moved joint top of the 2023/24 Europa League scoring charts with an important second-half equaliser at Feyenoord. The goal ultimately kept Roma in the tie heading back to the Stadio Olimpico for the second leg.

In addition, the goal leaves Lukaku with six goals in his last seven Europa League appearances this season. Such a return has fired the Belgian forward up to sixth in the competition’s all-time leading scorer charts, just five behind leading marksman Henrik Larsson (31).

In just 40 Europa League career appearances, Lukaku has scored 26 goals, with eight coming as the match opener. With an eye for striking in Europe’s second-tier tournament, Lukaku is a solid pick to net early for Roma.

Photo by Icon sport

Sparta Prague vs Galatasaray – Mauro Icardi – 11/2

Mauro Icardi inspired Galatasaray to a narrow 3-2 home win over Sparta Prague to put the Turkish giants in the driving seat before the second leg.

Icardi played a part in all three Galatasaray goals. The forward set up Kerem Demirbay and Dries Mertens before netting a 91st-minute winner.

The all-action display reflected the Argentinian’s European contributions this season. Icardi has nine goal contributions in 11 appearances in the Champions League (including qualifying) and in the Europa League. Moreover, he has six continental goals overall, while four strikes have come in the first half.

An early start could be key for Galatasaray to succeed in Prague. Icardi will also be confident of getting on the scoresheet after running the show at Rams Park.

Di Maria
Photo by Icon sport

Toulouse vs Benfica – Ángel Di María – 13/2

At 36, former Champions League winner Ángel Di María has shown no signs of decline. The veteran forward showcased his ever-present goalscoring capabilities to lead Benfica to a 2-1 win over Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday.

Di María opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 67 minutes to set up a frantic end to the contest. Toulouse hit back seven minutes later before the Argentinian netted a decisive winner in the seventh minute of injury time.

Di María will want to get Benfica off the mark early in Toulouse to help the Eagles build on their aggregate lead. And his chances of doing so are high. The 36-year-old has been the first goalscorer in eight of his 11 scoring appearances for Benfica in 2023/24.

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Alex Waite

Alex is a freelance sports writer with experience writing digital news, blogs, features, exlcusive interviews and SEO. He has a keen interest and knowledge of UK and European football, ATP and WTA tennis, cricket and boxing.