Crusaders v Wolves: Wolves (-2) – Evens
Wolves could be forgiven for a below-par performance at Molineux last week considering they played Manchester City in the final of the Premier League Asian Trophy in Shanghai just five days prior.
Wolves were bound to be off the pace having made the arduous journey back from China, so any potential slip-up would have happened last Thursday night.
As it transpired, Crusaders were extremely close to coming away with a credible 1-0 defeat and giving themselves a slight chance of causing an almighty upset.
However, Ruben Vinagre’s late strike has surely knocked the wind out of their sales.
There is virtually no chance that a group of part-timers will overcome a two-goal deficit against one of the Premier League’s strongest outfits, regardless of home advantage.
With jet lag now firmly out of their system, Wolves should coast home.
Apollon Limassol v Shamrock Rovers: Both teams to score – 5/4
The key to this tie, as has been the case for all of Rovers’ European games so far, is whether the Cypriots are capable of shackling Jack Byrne.
The former Man City player has almost singlehandedly guided Rovers to victory in both of their European games at Tallaght Stadium this season and seems to be absolutely flourishing since his return to Ireland.
Despite bringing a lead to Cyprus, Rovers face an uphill task against an undoubtedly superior side, and their chances of progression are on a knife-edge. The Dublin side simply need to score since they can’t hope to go to Cyprus and keep a 0-0 draw.
They looked well capable of doing so in Tallaght and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t be able to find the back of the net in Limassol either.
Whether they will progress or not is a different story, but we should at least see goals.
Progres Niedercorn v Rangers: Rangers half time/full time – 4/5
Rangers exacted some revenge for their embarrassing defeat at the hands of Luxembourg outfit Progres Niedercorn in 2017 with a comfortable 2-0 win over the same opposition last Thursday.
2017’s was one of the club’s lowest moments in a decade of low moments and the Glasgow side were surely keen to put the tie to bed last week. They have more or less succeeded in that regard, and it is unlikely that lightning will strike twice, but they should have won by a lot more having spurned a hatful of chances.
There is little chance of Rangers being knocked out, but the Scottish side will still surely be hoping to avoid another humiliating defeat in Luxembourg.
Expect Rangers to race out of the traps and attempt to put this one to bed early.
Aberdeen v Chikhura Sachkhere: Chikhura Sachkhere (+2) – 10/11
While going to Georgia is never an easy task, especially in the height of summer, Aberdeen would have surely hoped to put on a better performance than the one they did last week against their opponents that will be henceforth referred to as the Georgians because of the frankly absurd amount of h’s in their name.
Meaning no disrespect to the Georgian football, but Aberdeen would surely expect to beat the team that is currently placed sixth in the Erovnuli Division, regardless of home advantage.
A mediocre display last week now means that Aberdeen face a nervy evening at Pittodrie against ‘the Georgians’.
The concession of an early away goal will put Aberdeen fans on edge and it could be a long 90 minutes.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary up to throw-in.