Europa League Thursdays used to just be about flicking through results on Livescore but due to the restrictions on flying around the world, these midweek romps now consist of me googling random cities and adding them to an ambitious travel itinerary.
Skopje? I’ll go there in April. Nis in Serbia? Not too sure, I’ll just do the week next June.
This week, we’ve got British and Irish clubs lining up for European glory (or progression, depends on the way you view it, I suppose). I don’t mean British-and-Irish, either. This isn’t a Lions tour.
Why, why do Lincoln Red Imps come up every single year? It’s like they’re magnetically drawn to sides on this side of the Channel.
Anyway, Rangers haven’t conceded a goal domestically yet, and the Red Imps would finish bottom of the Scottish Premiership. Rangers to Win to Nil looks pretty safe.
No, not that Inter. Dundalk might be a slightly bigger price than that otherwise. We couldn’t have both Milan clubs being eliminated from European competition on the same night now, could we?
Indeed, the Lilywhites are in Andorra to play a football club not even the owners have heard of. Apparently their full name is Inter Club Escaldes.
However, not everything is as rosy as you’d think in the Wee County either, as the new reign of Filippo Giovagnoli hasn’t gone to plan early doors. He dropped Dundalk’s veteran goalkeeper in their last league game for fun, and they needed a late winner to see of Shelbourne in their most recent encounter.
Now, they’re effectively playing a Mediterranean pub team, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’m merely suggesting there’s value in them conceding while they progress and therefore, I like Dundalk to Win Both Teams To Score.
I would not be remotely surprised if Coleraine won this game of football. They disposed of the mighty Maribor in the last round, while Motherwell sit rock bottom of the SPFL, scoring just three times in their seven games in the competition.
But I won’t take the price, despite my urges. Instead, I’ll have Both Teams To Score here, in an open game that both sides probably expect to win.
It’s rare you get that dynamic in a European qualifier, so we might as well make hay while we can. Sorry, was that expression too explicitly Irish?
Linfield are a well-oiled machine, and possess the best player not named Jack Byrne on the island of Ireland in Bastien Hery.
They were undone in Warsaw by Legia thanks to an 82nd-minute goal that only really came about because the Northern Irish side were reduced to ten late on.
That formline translates to them running out comfortable winners in this tie, given the Maltese side have only progressed twice in European competition twice in their history, last doing so in the year 2000.
These four selections in an acca will give you odds of around 11/1 with Paddy Power.
Tips for the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday
16:00 Lincoln Red Imps v Rangers: Rangers to Win to Nil
18:30 Inter v Dundalk: Dundalk to Win and Both Teams to Score
19:30 Coleraine v Motherwell: Both Teams to Score
19:45 Linfield v Floriana: Linfield to Win
*Odds are correct at time of publication and they’re always bang on in our handy betting widgets*
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