The highlight of this week’s football action comes from the second-leg third round qualifiers in the Champions and Europa League.
This is the penultimate task on the road to the group stages and every team involved will be desperate to progress to the respective play-off rounds. We should be in for a couple of highly entertaining nights of football and will see plenty of goals.
Hopefully these six teams will all find the net to provide an 8/1 midweek winner.[accordion] [toggle title=”New to BTTS betting? Read on..“]Our BTTS guide will help you in all aspects of both teams to score betting, from making the all important selections to finding the best odds on offer to maximise your winnings.
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Steaua Bucharest V FK Aktobe. Champions League. Wednesday.
Our first selection comes from Wednesday’s Champions League encounter as Steaua Bucharest welcome Kazakhstan’s FK Aktobe to the Romanian capital.
These two shared an entertaining 2-2 draw in last week’s first-leg and we’d expect to see more of the same as the teams meet again at the Steaua Stadion. After a cagey start in Kazakhstan the game burst into life as the Romanians struck first just before the break and a similar story may develop here as one goal should initiate a flurry of action.
Steaua will be the favourites to grab the crucial victory and their two away goals definitely hands them the advantage. However, the Kazakhs scored in seven successive matches last month and will certainly fancy their chances of finding the target here.
Nevertheless, Steaua are the stronger outfit and should navigate their way through to the final stage of qualification. It may take several goals for the hosts to advance but Constantin Galca’s men are more than capable of achieving that.
We’re anticipating a home win, but we think the visitors will put up a strong fight.
Molde V Zorya. Europa League. Thursday
A last-gasp equaliser in Kiev has given Norwegian outfit Molde every chance of progressing to the Europa League play-off round, but Tor Skullerud’s men still have plenty of work to do against Zorya.
The hosts, who sit top of their domestic league, are in fine scoring form and already boast a goal difference of +25 after just 18 Tippeligaen matches this term. However, they do tend to concede also and their past five competitive matches have all ended in BTTS winners – there is no reason to think that sequence will end against the Ukrainians.
Molde possess a number of attacking players ready to find the net and 20-year-old sensation Mohamed Elyounoussi has already hit nine goals in the domestic league alone. With home advantage, the hosts should have little trouble in creating chances and we’d expect their strikers to take them.
However, Zorya themselves will be equally confident of progressing in spite of that late equaliser last week. They may have started their domestic campaign with consecutive defeats but there is little doubt that the visitors are a decent outfit and it is worth noting that the standard in Ukraine is far greater than that in Norway.
Confidence will be quite low for the Ukrainians, which may afford Molde the advantage. A win here, though, could inspire a revival in their domestic endeavours and the away goals rule means that manager Yuriy Vernydub must adopt an attack-minded approach to this fixture.
This one has the potential to be a classic and we’re hoping for plenty of goals.
Shakhter Soligorsk V Zulte-Waregem . Europa League. Thursday
It took just 40 minutes for last week’s first-leg to become a BTTS winner and we’re backing plenty more action in Thursday’s return meeting.
These two shared an incredible seven goals in Belgium as Zulte fell to a 5-2 defeat. That result has essentially ended any Belgian hopes of progression but the visitors will want to end their Europa League adventure on a high with their trip to Belarus.
Shakhter enjoyed a 5-1 victory at the Stadyen Bundaunik in the previous round and Sergey Borovskiy’s men will be confident of claiming another victory here. After losing a domestic match at the weekend, this is a perfect opportunity to rebuild some momentum by registering a fifth win in six matches.
However, the hosts do tend to concede at home and the fact Zulte managed to score their second goal despite being down to 10 men would suggest the visitors may at least experience some joy in the attacking third. Nevertheless, you cannot overlook the fact that Shakhter hit five goals at the Regenboogstadion last week.
After seeing seven goals last week it seems almost inevitable that we’ll be in for another feast of action between these two attack-minded sides. We’re expecting both teams to score.
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