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Torino has had trouble scoring goals lately but one thinks that the significant gulf in class between the Italian Serie A side and its Danish Superliga opponent, Kobenhavn, will enable Giampiero Ventura’s team to post a UEFA Europa League Group B home win at odds of -154 with BetVictor and Winner.
Everything was going swimmingly for Torino until a couple of weeks ago when its 13-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 0-2 loss at Sampdoria. But that result – Sampdoria is in third position on the Italian Serie A ladder – and Torino’s subsequent 0-0 draw at Club Brugge and 0-1 home loss to Verona do not read as badly now as they did at the time.
Torino has bounced back to some kind of form with a 2-1 win at Cagliari – again, that result reads quite well following the latest round of Italian Serie A games – and a 1-1 home draw with Fiorentina in which it led until fairly late on.
What makes one list Torino as the most attractive bet on the UEFA Europa League coupon is that it has kept a clean sheet in each of its five continental matches this season and it hosts a Kobenhavn side that has not handled the step up in class from the Danish Superliga to either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League well in recent terms.
Kobenhavn finds itself in the UEFA Europa League because it lost 2-7 on aggregate to Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League preliminaries. And in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage it lost its two games versus Real Madrid by a combined 6-0 score and it slumped to a 1-3 loss at Juventus in which Arturo Vidal bagged a rare hat-trick.
Dating back to 2010, Kobenhavn has played 22 away matches in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League for a record of four wins (Club Brugge, Molde, Panathinaikos and Shamrock Rovers), six draws and 12 losses. To cut a long story short, Kobenhavn has really struggled to avoid road defeats whenever it travels to a more illustrious opponent.
Dnipro is top of the Ukrainian Premier League ladder after seven rounds but that may have something to do with Shakhtar Donetsk, the division’s perennial champion, being removed from its home city for both domestic and continental games. Dnipro ended up in the UEFA Europa League because it lost 0-2 on aggregate to Kobenhaven in the UEFA Champions League and its campaign in the secondary competition’s group stage began with a 0-1 home loss to Internazionale that the Italian Serie A team dominated from start to finish.
Saint-Etienne is not going to push Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille for the French Ligue 1 title – it has lost at both sides already this term – but it will not be far off being the best of the rest, particularly if its maintains its strong home form. Saint-Etienne is unbeaten in its last 17 home matches, a streak that includes 12 wins and 11 clean sheets. All things considered, odds of even money about Saint-Etienne beating Dnipro in France are appealing.
Finally, last week one made the case for supporting Astra at underdog odds in its UEFA Europa League Group D home game versus one of Europe’s most overrated teams, Salzburg.
One has not changed one’s mind (from a previous article) that Astra represents decent value to either win or not lose, with bookmakers tightening Salzburg’s odds following back-to-back domestic victories, including a 12-1 cup win at third-tier Wiener. One thinks that Salzburg is a flat-track bully that does merit being odds on to win a UEFA Europa League match on the road. Salzburg’s two UEFA Champions League away games this season resulted in a 1-2 loss at Qarabag and a 0-3 loss at Malmo.
Astra, which is third on the Romanian Liga I ladder and reached the UEFA Europa League group stage by eliminating Lyonnais on away goals, is +425 with BetVictor to beat Salzburg and +130 with Bet365 not to lose the match.
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