Malmo scored twice on the road in its last UEFA Champions League tie and one believes that the Swedish Allsvenskan leader can contribute to both teams scoring in its play-off first leg versus Austrian Bundesliga frontrunner Salzburg.
One has written previously about the all-out attack style of Salzburg and how it overwhelms most of its domestic rivals but comes unstuck against stronger international sides. One is not writing up Malmo as a world beater because Swedish club football is relatively weak but Malmo is seven points clear at the top of its domestic competition and it knocked out Sparta Praha on away goals to reach this phase of the UEFA Champions League. One would argue that Sparta Praha would be at least as good as Salzburg, if not better.
Frankly, Salzburg is trading at ridiculous odds to defeat Malmo in the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg and one should not think about backing the Red Bull-supported team at odds of -345 with Betfred and Totesport. Salzburg is just not that good, as evidenced by its 1-2 defeat versus Qarabag in Azerbaijan last month and the quality of its imported players. Red Bull’s best player, Jonathan Soriano, played for Barcelona B previously. One could make a good case for backing Malmo with a one-goal start at odds of +333 with Spreadex or a two-goal start at odds of +110 with Betfair’s sportsbook.
But one thinks that an even more attractive play is taking the odds of +100 with Coral that both Salzburg and Malmo score in their UEFA Champions League play-off first leg. Salzburg has scored in each of its last nine competitive matches and Malmo has hit the back of the net in eight of its last nine meaningful games. One can count on Salzburg playing aggressively for the entire match, engineering opportunities and leaving its back door open for Malmo.
Arsenal has come up odds on to win its UEFA Champions League play-off first leg against Besiktas in Turkey, odds that are too short to contemplate taking when one considers that the host has won 12, drawn six and lost one of its 19 home games dating back to the beginning of last season. Backing odds-on road teams in UEFA ties is a quick way to the poorhouse.
An away side that is attractively priced, though, is Porto, which is available at odds of +180 with several bookmakers, including Boylesports and Sky Bet, to beat Lille in France. Porto kicked off its Portuguese Primeira Liga title defence with a 2-0 home win over Maritimo, building upon its excellent run of pre-season results. Lille has not lost any of its four competitive matches this term but it has been far from impressive and one feels that the French Ligue 1 team is a notch or two below Porto’s quality. At odds of 2.00 with Ladbrokes, Porto is a viable draw-no-bet option, while it is trading at odds of -200 with Bet365 not to lose. If one had to take one of those prices, it would be 1.50 about Porto either drawing or winning. After all, away wins are hard to get.
Finally, Napoli is a tough place for visiting sides to get a positive results so last season’s Italian Serie A bronze medallist is fairly quoted at odds of -120 with BetVictor to defeat Bilbao in the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg. Napoli was 13-4-2 at home in Italian Serie A last term, whereas Bilbao was 7-6-6 on the road in the Spanish Primera Division, losing to Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid on its league travels.
Napoli to beat Bilbao
19th August 19:45 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.