Lech and Stjarnan are poles apart

europa league
The UEFA Europa League continues to throw up decent betting opportunities and the pick of the third qualifying round second leg plays is Lech Poznan to beat Stjarnan in Poland.

Lech Poznan lost 0-1 to Stjarnan in Iceland last week but the result of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg was a travesty of justice because the Polish side dominated the match on every statistic except goals.

Football can be a funny old game but Lech Poznan was not laughing in Iceland after having 20 attempts, seven of which were on target, and 16 corner kicks. Stjarnan had only four attempts, three of which were on target, and two corner kicks in a match that the away team bossed throughout.

One appreciates that Lech Poznan is trading at short odds of -303  with Coral to defeat Stjarnan but the home team would be around the 1.10 mark had the result of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg been reflective of the game statistics. If one wants to bet at a longer price then Paddy Power is offering odds of -149  that Lech Poznan qualifies for the next phase of the tournament, while the same bookmaker is offering odds of 2.00 that the home side beats Stjarnan by two or more goals. That last option is particularly interesting and represents the best value.

Rio Ave deservedly defeated Goteborg 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg between the teams in Sweden last week. Ahmed Hassan scored Rio Ave’s winner as the Portuguese side had roughly twice as many attempts on goal and on target as its Swedish rival. One expects that Rio Ave will improve significantly for the run – the match was its first competitive outing in more than three months, whereas Goteborg is midway through its domestic season – and 1-0 is not the safest of leads in a UEFA tie so the Pedro Martins-coached team cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

Normally one would be not rushing to back a side that had a 2-5-8 home record in its domestic league last term but Rio Ave was much better than Goteborg in Sweden, one rates the Portuguese Primeira Liga much higher than the Swedish Allsvenskan and the travelling team has failed to score a goal in each of its last four games, losing all four.

Rio Ave is available at odds of -125 with Coral to get the better of Goteborg and, when considers all things, the Vila do Conde-based side should be shorter to do the double.

Finally, one watched crisis club Hajduk Split lose its UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg to Shakhter Karagandy in Kazakhstan but the 2-4 scoreline was unfair on the team from Croatia, which controlled the match for long spells and gave away silly goals through defensive errors.

One is not going to make out that Hajduk Split is a world beater but it should not have lost to Shakhter Karagandy in Kazakhstan and the switch of venue means that Coral may regret offering odds of 1.80 about a home victory.

Shakhter Karagandy’s away form is the polar opposite of its home form. Whereas Shakhter Karagandy has not lost at home since November, it has not won away versus a decent side – sorry but one is not counting Armenia’s Shirak – since April, a run that comprises one draw and seven losses.

Apart from the goals tally, most of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg statistics favoured Hajduk Split over Shakhter Karagandy and the state of the tie means that the travel-sick visitor can progress with a one-goal defeat, hence why one is keen to back the home team.

Tips Summary

Lech Poznan to beat Stjarnan (Lech to Qualify / Lech to win by 2+)
7th August 18:00 GMT
Odds: -303  (1.67 / 2.00)
Where to Bet: CoralPaddy Power

Rio Ave to beat Goteborg
7th August 20:00 GMT
Odds:  -125
Where to Bet: Coral

Hajduk Split to beat Shakhter Karagandy
7th August 18:30 GMT
Odds:  -125
Where to Bet: Coral

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