Seventeen UEFA Champions League matches take up Tuesday and Wednesday and, because it is UEFA’s premier club tournament, they will generate most of the hype. But the best betting opportunities are in the 40 UEFA Europa League clashes.
Several bookmakers, including Boylesports, Paddy Power and Totesport, are offering odds of 1.53 about Dinamo Minsk of Belarus defeating MYPA of Finland in the former Soviet state. One thinks that those odds represent good value.
The players of Dinamo Minsk and MYPA are match fit because their team’s domestic competitions kicked on during the FIFA World Cup. And, when it comes down to nominating which one is in the best form, Dinamo beats MYPA by a wide margin.
Dinamo Minsk has won each of its last seven games and its home winning streak is nine matches, an impressive run that began with a 2-1 victory over BATE at the end of last term. Dinamo is three points ahead of BATE following 17 rounds of this season’s Belarusian championship and it is 8-0-0 at home with a 19-2 goal difference. Those are good numbers.
MYPA is sixth in the Finnish championship after 19 rounds. MYPA has an overall negative goal difference and its away form is that of a relegation candidate – two wins, one draw and six losses with five goals scored and 17 goals conceded.
A Scandinavian side that is worth backing to experience some UEFA Europa League success is AIK, which travels from Sweden to Northern Ireland to face Belfast-based Linfield.
Fourteen rounds into the Swedish championship and AIK lies in second spot with an 8-4-2 overall record and away numbers of 3-3-0, including a league-high 14 road goals scored. AIK has won each of its last two domestic games 3-0 and it lines up against a Linfield team yet to kick off its domestic campaign, which surely puts AIK at a major advantage.
Linfield beat B36 of the Faroe Islands to qualify for this stage of the UEFA Europa League and AIK will not be shaking in its boots based on that 2-1 aggregate scoreline.
AIK is available at odds of 1.91 with several bookmakers, including Bet365, Betfred and Sky Bet, to beat Linfield in Northern Ireland and pretty much put the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round tie to bed after just 90 minutes.
Finally, Croatia’s Rijeka is attractively priced at odds of 1.80 with Boylesports to get the better of Ferencvaros, the Hungarian side that was a force with which to be reckoned in the 1960s and 1970s but has fallen on hard times recently.
Rijeka had a great time in last term’s UEFA Europa League, knocking out Stuttgart over two legs and then drawing four of its six group games versus Betis, Olympique Lyonnais and Vitoria Guimaraes in what was, on paper, a tough section.
The Croatian championship has not started but Rijeka has warmed up for its UEFA Europa League tie against Ferencvaros with a couple of friendly matches and a semi-competitive game against Croatian title winner Dinamo Zagreb. Rijeka took out all three matches by an aggregate score of 7-3.
Ferencvaros is on a seven-game unbeaten run saddling this season and last season but it really struggled to get past Sliema of Malta in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round, including a 1-1 away draw versus the minnow.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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