This week brings the conclusion of the important Champions League play-offs. With just 90 minutes separating 20 teams from a place in the group phase, the need for victory could scarcely be grater.
We’re looking to capitalise on those sentiments on Tuesday night with these both teams to score tips. We’re backing these six clubs to all make the net ripple at some stage in what should be another dramatic night from the world’s greatest club competition.
At odds of over 9/2 with Betfred, it has to be worth an early week punt.
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Maccabi Tel Aviv V FC Basel
Last week, Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv raised a few eyebrows by registering two goals at St Jakob Park against a very strong FC Basel. With that away draw behind them, Slavia Jokanovic’s men will now be eager to complete a remarkable job at the Bloomfield Stadium.
The hosts do have some decent attacking players in their ranks, with the likes of Tel Ben Haim II and Eden Ben Basat more than capable of causing the visitors problems. Meanwhile, the impressive Eran Zahavi will be in buoyant mood after netting twice in last week’s first leg.
However, Basel are a squad of genuine European pedigree, as a number of Premier League sides have found out in recent campaigns. The visitors will believe they should be in the group phase and will be looking to the firepower of Marc Janko and Shkelzen Gashi to lead them there.
Urs Fischer’s men will have to do it the hard way, but we’re backing them to qualify. Nevertheless, we think Tel Aviv can at least score a goal.
BTTS Yes @ 8/11 with Betfred
Malmo V Celtic
Ronny Deila’s Bhoys may have clinched victory in last week’s first leg at Celtic Park, but their slender advantage means that the SPL side still have a lot of work to do here. After conceding two away goals, they will be out to hit the target in Sweden.
If they attack like they did at home, the visitors shouldn’t have too much trouble getting on the scoresheet at the Swedbank Stadion. Striker Leigh Griffiths should pose a constant threat to the home defence, and the Scottish side can be confident about sealing their place in the group phase.
However, Malmo brushed Salzburg aside with a stunning 3-0 home win in the previous round of Champions League qualifying. Overall, they’ve now scored 10 goals in their past four home matches. Age Hareide will be eager to see Markus Rosenberg and Jo Inge Berget get amongst the goals here.
Both teams have genuine reason to feel they’ll win this contest, which could lead to plenty of drama. Back both teams to score.
BTTS Yes @ 8/13 with Betfred
AS Monaco V Valencia
After reaching the quarter-finals in last year’s competition, Ligue 1 side AS Monaco are on the verge of failing to even reach the group phase in 2015/16 as they take on Valencia needing at least two goals to qualify.
An away goal in last week’s first leg does give Leonardo Jardim’s men a slight chance, but the hosts will need to attack from the outset. Lacina Traore and Stephan El Shaarawy have the quality to cause Valencia problems at the Stade Louis II. The main issue for Monaco is that a clean sheet looks unlikely.
The Spanish visitors have a formidable frontline, which is spearheaded by Alvaro Negredo, and will be confident that one goal should be enough to seal their place in the group phase. Nuno Santo’s men will be eager to get it at the earliest stage possible.
These two clubs are arguably possess more quality than any others from Tuesday’s schedule. Let’s hope it shows with goals at both ends.
BTTS Yes @ Evens with Betfred
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