Vardar scored two goals despite having only one attempt on target in its UEFA Europa League play-offs first leg versus Fenerbahce in Macedonia, a game that the visiting side from Turkey dominated from start to finish but lost 0-2.
Fenerbahce fell behind in the 20th minute to Vardar’s one and only attempt on target and the Yellow Canaries made a complete hash of its UEFA Europa League play-offs first leg by conceding an own goal two minutes into stoppage time.
To give some credit to Vardar, it has won 10 and drawn one of its last 11 home games across all competitions, including UEFA-sanctioned events against Malmo, Kobenhavn and, most recently, Fenerbahce. But Vardar has not fared well on its travels, winning just one of its last seven road matches, including copping a 1-4 hammering at Kobenhavn.
One is keen to get with Fenerbahce because one can see the Yellow Canaries turning the UEFA Europa League play-offs tie on its head when it resumes on Thursday. One does not trust Fenerbahce defence enough to back the Yellow Canaries to win to nil and, if they concede a goal to Vardar in Turkey, then they will need to score at least four goals to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage. One thinks that the best way to back Fenerbahce is to bet on the Yellow Canaries doing the half-time/full-time double over Vardar, an option that is available at odds of -175 with Coral and Ladbrokes.
The UEFA Europa League play-offs first leg between Viitorul and Salzburg featured four goals and, if it had not been for the heroics of the former’s goalkeeper, Victor Rimniceanu, the scoreline would have been even more lopsided in the latter’s favour than the final result of 3-1.
Salzburg is short odds to complete a quick-fire UEFA Europa League play-offs double over Viitorul but there may be some value in backing over two and a half goals at odds of -167 with Marathonbet. Salzburg may cover the line on its own and Viitorul, the club which Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi built from scratch, may make a contribution because its founder’s instructions to his young team will be to play fearlessly like it did last week. Between them, Viitorul and Salzburg had 28 attempts in the UEFA Europa League play-offs first leg, 11 of which either were goals or required saves.
Bookmakers are slow to frame markets on corner kicks in the UEFA Europa League play-offs second legs but keep out an eye for odds about over 10 and a half corners in the game between Rosenborg and Ajax in Norway on Thursday.
Ajax and Rosenborg combined for 18 corner kicks – 10 for the Sons of Gods and eight for the Troll Children – in the Netherlands last week in a UEFA Europa League play-offs first leg that the away side somehow managed to win 1-0. Ajax will fancy its chance of getting back into the UEFA Europa League play-offs tie so one is expecting the second leg to be open from start to finish with the Sons of Gods knowing that one away goal will put them in the mix and a couple of away goals will put them in the driving seat.
Fenerbache HT/FT double result
Thrusday 24th August, 18:30 GMT
Salzburg v Viitorul – Over 2.5 goals
Thursday 24th August, 18:00 GMT
Rosenborg v Ajax – Over 10.5 corners
Thursday 24th August, 19:45 GMT