Isn’t it all going swimmingly well at the moment! Liam is carving it up with his both teams to score tips at present and my singles aren’t doing too badly either. There’s plenty of action all over the continent this Thursday as we have a huge Europa League fixture list, and I’ve done plenty of research in order to find some standout bets amongst them.
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Zimbru v PAOK Salonika 7.05pm
Moldovan outfit Zimbru have a tough challenge against Greek side PAOK Salonika and I think I’ve found a bet that definitely looks worth taking.
Zimbru have actually played better football away form home in this competition so far – eliminating CSKA Sofia by drawing 1-1 before a goalless draw at home, and then beating Austrian side Grodig 2-1 away from home before losing 0-1 in the return leg. That’s two Europa League home games they’ve failed to find the net in, and I think PAOK will prove too strong for them, especially over two legs.
PAOK are yet to kick off their 2014/15 domestic campaign but have looked pretty solid in pre season, especially in the last fortnight or so. Most recently they held Inter Milan to a 0-0 draw, beat QPR 1-0, and also beat domestic rivals Xanthi 1-0 (these games are all in the last 14 days). So defensively they look to be holding up pretty well.
Looking at their record in Europe PAOK games have featured only one team scoring in 6 of their last games on the road. My feeling in this game is that one or both teams will fail to find the net. Greek football is notoriously low scoring (especially the lesser known teams) and I think there’s plenty of mileage in the 4/5 that Ladbrokes are offering about BTTS NO. If pushed I’d favour the Greek side to score, but with BTTS NO it doesn’t matter which team as long as at least one of them don’t find the target.
A medium stake here.
Advised Bet: BTTS NO – 4/5 Ladbrokes
Lokeren v Hull City 7.30pm
Steve Bruce has already stated that he will give outside players a chance in this competition and while he’s already stated that Lokeren are a good side and he expects a tough game – I personally think that Lokeren could well edge this one.
Hull have been installed as narrow favourites at around 6/4 to win this game with Lokeren available at a pretty generous 19/10 at BetVictor to take the spoils.
Lokeren are 4 games into their season (P4 W2 D1 L1) and I think they are being slightly underestimated by the bookies. Their last performance in Europe was back in 2012 and they beat Czech side Viktoria Plzen 2-1 at home before losing 0-1 away and being eliminated.
While a strong team fielded by Hull could take the spoils, we already know that Bruce is going to rest plenty of first teamers due to their clash with Stoke City on Sunday. Lokeren are certainly no mugs and the 11/10 at Paddy Power for draw no bet looks a great bet with the insurance of a refund should honours be even.
Much of this bet is about gut feel and I personally think that Steve Bruce will try and use the 2nd leg to qualify for the next stage of the tournament, using this leg as an opportunity to rest players. I’m predicting a narrow home win, however the 11/10 about draw no bet suits me just fine.
Medium stake here.
Advised Bet: Lokeren (draw no bet) 11/10 Paddy PowerGrab a £50 free bet at Paddy Power