Wednesday’s BTTS treble is another Champions League treble and we’re hoping these first leg play-off round matches will provide a night of cracking drama.
We’re backing six teams to all find the target. At odds of just under 6/1, let’s pray for a fantastic midweek boom.
Rapid Vienna V Shakhtar Donetsk
Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk might not boast the same level of quality as they did three or four seasons ago, but Mircea Lucescu’s men will still fancy their chances of sealing a place in the group phase. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t expect to have everything their own way in this first leg trip to the Austrian capital.
With Eduardo da Silva starting the season in good form, the visitors should be particularly confident about finding the target. Moreover, the talents of Alex Teixeira, Berard and Taison will cause problems for the Austrian hosts.
Rapid Vienna aren’t a great side, but Zoran Barisic’s men are improving. They’ll also be in high spirits after netting 24 goals in eight competitive outings this term. Meanwhile, the victory over Ajax in the previous qualifying round shows that they do have the quality to compete.
The host know they need a goal in this important first leg, and should be able to find it. Nonetheless, Shakhtar should show their quality with the important away strike.
BTTS Yes @ 8/11
Skenderbeu V Dinamo Zagreb
Zoran Mamic’s Dinamo Zagreb enter their play-off match against Skenderbeu as overwhelming favourites to progress and will be hoping to put one foot in the group phase with a confident display in Albania.
The visitors make the trip to Korce on the back of a 3-0 weekend league win over Split and will be extra confident given the form of 20-year-old striker Armin Hodzic. Meanwhile, Algerian star El Arbi Soudani is also scoring regularly.
Skenderbeu will fancy their chances of goals, though. The hosts have scored nine goals in five competitive matches this term, and Mirel Josa’s men will be hoping to use the crowd’s energy to find the target again here.
Dinamo’s previous away game ended in a 3-3 draw against Norwegian side Molde. A repeat scoreline would suit us perfectly at the Stadiumi Skenderbeu.
BTTS Yes @ Evens
Valencia V AS Monaco
Both Valencia and Monaco have genuine European pedigree and the winner will have high hopes of at reaching the knockout phase. However, only one of them will even reach the group phase. These are two brilliant sides to be playing at this stage of the competition, and we expect the attacking quality to shine through.
Nuno Santo has assembled an impressive frontline at the Mestalla. Alvaro Negredo will add genuine quality while the youthful Zkaria Bakkali is expected to have bright future ahead of him. When combined with the attacking talents of Rodrigo Moreno and Pablo Piatti, the Spaniards will certainly fancy their chances of scoring.
However, Monaco did reach the quarter-final stage last year and will be hoping for another impressive Champions League adventure in 2015/16. They have lost a couple of big names, but Leonardo Jardim’s side still has genuine start talent in the form of Lacina Traore and Stehan El Shaarawy. After hitting seven in the previous round against Young Boys, they’ll certainly fancy their chances.
We’d always expect Valencia to score at home, but uncertainties surrounding key defender Nicolas Otamendi could open up the chance for the Ligue 1 side to score too.
BTTS Yes @ Evens
A £10 treble pays £69.09