Cork Unlikely to Stop KR Fizzing into Next Round


There is nothing of note on the UEFA Champions League coupon but there are many UEFA Europa League betting opportunities that leap off the page, the best of which one thinks is KR to beat Cork in their first qualifying round second leg.

Cork and KR drew 1-1 in their opening UEFA Europa League encounter last week but one thinks that the move from the south coast of Ireland to the capital city of Iceland will help turn the tie in the favour of the Icelandic team.

According to UEFA’s official statistics, one would have to say that KR was the better side on Cork’s own pitch. KR led the attempts 17-11, including a 8-3 on-target advantage, and it won the corner-kick count 8-2 – not bad for an away team in a UEFA Europa League tie. The playing conditions are not going to be like those with which Cork is familiar – KR’s ground has an artificial pitch and that is just for starters – so one expects the Icelandic side’s home edge to be big.

Coral, Ladbrokes and PaddyPower are offering odds of +110 about a KR home win over Cork and that looks like a fairly good bet. One thought that KR would be trading at odds on given the state of the UEFA Europa League tie, the reports of the first leg and the venue for the deciding match.

One thinks that the key to betting on the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second legs is to identify teams that did not get their just desserts last week and that require a positive result to progress. KR fits the bill perfectly and so does Botosani, which is 1-1 on aggregate with Tskhinvali.

Botosani battered Tskhinvali for all bar one minute of their UEFA Europa League first qualifying round first leg, having 23 attempts to five and forcing 14 corner kicks to two. It was one-way traffic for the overwhelming majority of the game in Romania and Botosani looked set to register a nice home win when Petre Ivanovici opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Unfortunately for Botosani, Tskhinvali capitalised on poor concentration in the opening minute of the second half and Nika Katcharava’s goal was sufficient to earn the away side what one would have to say was an unmerited draw.

Coral and BetVictor are listing Botosani at odds of -120  to win on the road in Georgia, which is what the Romanian team needs to do unless it features in a high-scoring draw. Like KR, Botosani had reason to feel aggrieved by the result of its UEFA Europa League first qualifying round first leg. Like KR, odds close to even money appear on the generous side.

Finally, Koper rates as the best value of the short-priced favourites on the UEFA Europa League program at odds of -250 with Bet365 to do a home-and-away double over Vikingur.

That Koper not only won in Iceland last week but also had much the better of the statistics – for example, it had seven attempts on target to its opponent’s one – suggests that there is a significant gap between the teams and the big difference in quality is not reflected in the betting.

Koper knows that it cannot afford to switch off – a 1-0 lead from a UEFA Europa League first qualifying round first leg on the road is not a secure one because of the away-goals rule – so the Slovenian side is likely to be fully focused and determined to extend its aggregate lead. Koper defeated Maribor on penalties in a domestic cup competition over the weekend so it is not short of match practice and it welcomes a Vikingur team that has lost three games on the bounce.

Tips Summary

KR to beat Cork City
9th June 20:15 GMT
Odds:  +110
Where to Bet: Coral, Ladbrokes, PaddyPower

Botosani to beat Tskhinvali
9th June 17:00 GMT
Odds:  -120
Where to Bet: Coral, BetVictor

Koper to beat Vikingur
9th June 19:30 GMT
Odds:  -250
Where to Bet: Bet365

Cork City
KR Reykjavík
UEFA Europa League

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