The celebrations for Bayern Munich are still ongoing but the coming season’s Champions League qualifiers have already begun and there are a few big names involved.
We’ve had a look at Tuesday’s fixtures and found a delicious double.
Kick-off time: 7pm
All ties over the qualification matches will be single-leg only and this is certainly going to play into the hands of the home sides. Tirana here will be hopeful of that anyway, as they come into this match as massive underdogs with Crvena Zvezda, formally known to us English speakers as Red Star Belgrade, likely to be getting most of the action from punters.
The home side have just won their 25th league title – their first since 2008/00 – a month ago but have only played two matches over the last month, losing one in their domestic cup and beating Dinamo Tbilisi away in a Champions League qualifier last week. Crvena Zvezda, on the other hand, have played seven matches over the same time period, winning all of them and conceding just two goals. No wonder the market is heavily on their side here.
There’s added spice here though, if you know your European history you’ll know that Albania and Serbia don’t have much love for each other and it’s going to be pretty tense when the sides kick-off here. For Tirana this has the added pressure of national pride at stake. Crvena Zvezda are well used to high-pressure matches (look up the Eternal Derby or watch the video above if you don’t believe us!) and they have the experience at this stage of the competition as well. Last season they had to go through four rounds of home and away matches to qualify.
Tirana rarely go a home match without scoring, from their last 18 home matches in all competitions they only failed to score in one match and while Crvena Zvezda don’t give up goals easily their Champions League record has seen them keep just three Clean Sheets over their 15 most recent matches in the competition. The away side should win but with such good scoring records we think there’s value in goals here so we’re picking Over 2.5 goals.
Kick-off time: 7pm
The market is favouring the Greek runners-up here but looking into the stats we can only express caution for backing the home side. Over their five most recent matches only a single goal was scored by them, all others finished 0-0. Besiktas on the other hand have won four out of their last five, scoring 10 and conceding just three.
PAOK’s home record is very good though, they won five, drew two and lost three of their last 10 at the Toumba Stadium. Besiktas have also won five of their last 10 on the road, drawing one and losing four. The market favouring the home side here just isn’t sitting with us, PAOK are good at home but there’s no denying that Besiktas have far more goals in them.
PAOK averaged 1.72 goals per home league match in the season just finished and conceded just 0.72 per match. Besiktas scored 1.47 and conceded 1.24 on their league travels.
Besiktas though have scored plenty more goals of late than the home side and while that might normally sway us the home side have the better scoring record and have the home comforts of playing at their own stadium. With good scoring records though for both teams we think Both Teams to Score is a good option here at very decent odds.
- A double for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifiers clocks in at just under 3/1 with Paddy Power