Sheriff has won just one of its last 12 UEFA competition games dating back to the beginning of the 2014-2015 season so the odds should be stacked against the most successful side in Moldova from getting anything from its UEFA Europa League road game versus Legia Warszawa on Thursday.
Apart of a 1-0 UEFA Champions League home win over Kukesi of Albania, Sheriff’s recent UEFA campaigns have been devoid of victories. Sheriff finds itself in the UEFA Europa League because, while it snook past Kukesi on away goals, it lost 1-2 on aggregate to Qarabag of Azerbaijan across July and August. Indeed, Sheriff has not won any of its 15 UEFA Europa League road matches – seven draws and eight losses – since first gaining admittance to the event in 2000.
Legia Warszawa was unlucky to bow out of the UEFA Champions League, ultimately paying the price for conceding a goal to Astana in stoppage time for their first leg in Kazakhstan. Legia posted a 1-0 home victory over Astana but it was not enough to prevent the Legionnaires sliding into the UEFA Europa League, a tournament that it graced last term. Legia in unbeaten in its last 14 home games across a wide range of competitions, winning eight and drawing six. With 32Red, 888Sport and Unibet offering odds of -192 about a Legia triumph over Sheriff this week, one thinks that the Legionnaires merit UEFA Europa League headline status.
Plzen had a night to forget in the last round of the UEFA Champions League when, after holding FCSB to a 2-2 draw in Romania, Viktoria imploded and lost 1-4 on their own pitch. One is willing to put a pen through that result and judge Plzen on the rest of its recent results, which include three wins from three matches in the Czech Liga since it began.
AEK Larnaca is Plzen’s UEFA Europa League opponent, a side that required a late penalty kick to avoid an away loss to Lincoln of Gibraltar last month. Yes, AEK did lead 5-0 from the first leg of its UEFA Europa League tie against Lincoln but, irrespective of that fact, no half-decent team should have got that close to losing a game to the Red Imps. At odds of -161 with many bookmakers, including Marathonbet, SkyBet and William Hill, Plzen are worth supporting.
One would have been all over Ludogorets to smash Suduva if the former was able to field its strongest side but its naturalised midfielder, Marcelinho, saw red versus Hapoel Beer-Sheva and he will miss Thursday’s match in Bulgaria. It is a shame because one would have been all over Ludogorets on the half-time/full-time double-result market.
Vardar against Fenerbahce is the third UEFA Europa League clash in which one is interested and it is the latter that is worth backing at odds of -127 with Marathonbet.
Fenerbahce eliminated Sturm 3-2 on aggregate in the previous UEFA Europa League round, including registering a 2-1 win in Austria. That form is a lot stronger than Vardar’s in the UEFA Champions League, with the Red and Blacks suffering a 2-4 aggregate loss to Kobenhavn across July and August.
Legia Warsaw to beat Sheriff Tiraspol
Thursday 17th August, 19:45 GMT
Plzen to beat AEK
Thursday 17th August, 19:15 GMT
Fenerbachee to beat Vardar
Thursday 17th August, 19:00 GMT
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