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Not often does one recommend backing odds-on shots away from home in UEFA competitions but one is willing to make a very rare exception for Torino to beat Split in Croatia.
BetVictor is offering odds of -167 about a Torino win, odds that are sufficiently attractive to bend one of one’s golden rules. It is the gulf in class between Torino and Split, as well as the Italian Serie A side’s commitment to the UEFA Europa League, that makes the hot favourite worth backing.
Torino’s Italian Serie A campaign does not get under way for another couple of weeks but, even so, it was fully prepared for its first UEFA Europa League assignment against Swedish Allsvenskan struggler Brommapojkarna, winning the first leg 3-0 in Sweden and romping to a 4-0 victory in Italy.
With two weeks between UEFA Europa League ties and facing an opponent that one rates not much higher than Brommapojkarna, Torino should have what it takes to win both legs. Split is fifth on the Croatian 1 HNL ladder following five rounds in which it has lost to the division’s top two teams – 0-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb and 0-3 at home to Rijeka. Those results do not bode well for how Split will fare versus Torino.
The last time that Split played a home match against a side akin to Torino’s quality was in the UEFA Europa League three years ago when it drew 0-0 with English Premier League team Fulham before losing the return game 2-0 at Craven Cottage.
One side from the former Yugoslavia that does appeal as a UEFA Europa League betting proposition is Partizan, which is available at odds of -120 with William Hill to build a first-leg lead against Azerbaijan’s Neftchi in Serbia.
Partizan was somewhat unlucky not to make it through to the UEFA Champions League play-offs, exiting that tournament on the away-goals rule after Ludogorets drew 2-2 in Belgrade. Partizan played the entire second half of the second leg with 10 men after Branislav Trajkovic’s 41st-minute red card. Partizan had its pride but not its desired result.
Top of the Serbian Super Liga, albeit only two rounds into the championship, Partizan has won each of its last seven domestic matches and only once in its 21 games this year has it experienced defeat. Neftci is nothing special – it just scraped past Georgia’s Chikhura in the previous UEFA Europa League round and Slovenia’s Koper in the round before that – so Partizan has every reason to be confident of success.
Russian Premier League team Rostov is in terrible form and, therefore, Trabzonspor is worth an interest at odds of -133 with BetVictor to win the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-offs tie in Turkey, which is never the easiest place for away sides to obtain a positive outcome.
Rostov qualified for the UEFA Europa League by virtue of winning last term’s Russian Cup, defeating Krasnodar on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes. Rostov’s pre-season went badly and its poor form has continued into the really important stuff. Rostov lost 1-3 to CSKA Moskva in the Russian Super Cup on neutral territory and its four Russian Premier League matches have resulted in one draw and three losses, including a 3-7 thumping away to Dinamo Moskva.
Torino to beat Split
21st August 19:30 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Partizan to beat Neftchi
21st August 19:15 GMT
Where to Bet: William Hill
Trabzonspor to beat Rostov
21st August 18:00 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
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