It is not often that domestic rivals meet in UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds but that will be the case when Swiss Super League sides Thun and Vaduz clash on Thursday and one is keen on the former to win their first leg.
Lining up form for UEFA Europa League matches can be very tricky but Thun and Vaduz are no strangers to each other, with recent head-to-head results favouring the former and not by insignificant margins, either, as one will detail.
Thun and Vaduz clashed four times in last season’s Swiss Super League, with the former accruing 10 points out of a possible 12. Thun beat Vaduz 1-0 and 4-0 at home, while it won 1-0 and 1-1 on the road. The most recent meeting between Thun and Vaduz resulted in a 4-0 home victory for Thun in which the host scored all its goals in the first half.
The current Swiss Super League championship kicked off two weeks ago and Thun is two points above Vaduz on the ladder already. Twenty-one points separated Thun and Vaduz at the end of last term’s Swiss Super League and it is well worth pointing out that the latter is in the UEFA Europa League because it wins the Liechtenstein Cup almost every season.
Many bookmakers, including Bet365 and Boylesports, are listing Thun at odds of -125 to win its UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg at home to Vaduz. One thinks that Thun represents the best bet on this week’s UEFA Europa League coupon – Vaduz has not beaten its rival since they met in Switzerland’s second tier 14 years ago.
AIK is attractively priced at odds of +115 with BetVictor to get the better of its Atromitos in their UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg, also on Thursday.
Home is where the heart is for AIK currently as the Solna team has won 10 and drawn one of its 11 competitive home matches since the Swedish Allsvenkan started. AIK swept aside fellow UEFA Europa League participant Elfsborg 4-2 last time out, leading 4-0 inside 40 minutes. AIK’s away form is ropey so one is expecting the home side to go for broke at home to an Atromitos team that may be underdone.
AIK has played more than 20 competitive games since the various Swedish domestic tournaments began; Atromitos has not taken part in a meaningful match for the best part of two months and the Greek Super League does not kick off until late August. Factor in the unconvincing road data of Atromitos – it won three, drew seven and lost 10 of its 20 Greek Super League away games last term, which was one of the division’s worst travelling records – and there is a clear-cut case for taking a punt on AIK at odds against.
Finally, the banker bet on the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg card appears to be Athletic to beat Inter Baku on Thursday at odds of -588 with Ladbrokes.
Neither Athletic nor Inter Baku has started its respective domestic league campaign so there should not be a massive difference in their fitness levels and one has to say that the latter is lucky to have it made it this far. Inter Baku needed the away-goals rule to knock out Albania’s Laci in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round and one thinks that it would have struggled to eliminate FH had its Icelandic opponent managed to keep 10 players on the field in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
AIK to beat Atromitos
30th July 18:00 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Athletic to beat Inter Baku
30th July 19:45 GMT
Where to Bet: Ladbrokes
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