With preparations for Europe’s top tiers well underway, we are offered another busy midweek schedule from across the continent. With the Champions League qualifiers taking center stage on Wednesday night, we have found a handful of helpful tips that are worth keeping an eye out for in midweek.
Wednesday 26th August
BST 16:30 Rotor Volgograd vs Spartak Moscow
Starting with Wednesday’s guests, while an extremely inconsistent end to last year’s campaign might have cost Spartak Moscow any chance of securing a return to the European stage, the Red and Whites have impressed many this time around. Really making a string of improvements under former Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco, they are unbeaten in any of their opening four Premier League contests and the mood in their camp appears to be at a real high. Opening the midweek fixtures sat in second and only behind defending champions Zenit, Krasno-Belye should also be boosted by what was a deserved derby day victory over the weekend. Landing an eye-catching 2-1 win against bitter rivals Lokomotiv Moscow on Sunday evening, Spartak have really caught the eye with their recent performances in the final third. Now recording at least a pair of strikes in five of their last six Premier League contests continuing on from last year, one man to keep an eye out for will be leading marksman, Jordan Larsson. Once again finding the net in the Moscow derby over the weekend, the 23-year-old has four in his last five top-flight outings. As for Wednesday’s hosts, hit with a 2-1 defeat at home against Sochi last week, Rotor Volgograd have really come crashing back down to earth after making their top-tier return over the summer. Including what turned out to be a 3-1 drumming away at Akhmat Grozny, the Blues have managed to collect just a single point in any of their opening four appearances.
Tip: Spartak Moscow to score over 1.5 goals @ 5/6
18:30 Dinamo Moscow vs Zenit
Enjoying another domestic sweep last season and eventually wrapping up their seventh Premier League crown with time to spare, it is no surprise that Zenit are seen as a landslide pick to reclaim their title this year. Already lifting their first piece of silverware over the summer after picking up a 2-1 victory against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Super Cup earlier in the month, the Blues have also opened the new top-flight campaign in rampant fashion. Laying down another marker over the weekend, Sergei Semak’s men marched on a thumping 4-1 win against Tambov at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium, Zenit have won each of their opening four appearances, bagging at least a pair of strikes in each of those victories. Already opening the midweek fixtures holding a four-point buffer at the top of the table, they also have one attacking MVP enjoying another real purple patch. Once again finding the net against Tambov last time out, last year’s Golden Boot winner Sardar Azmoun has bagged four goals in just his last three Premier League contests, including a brace against CSKA last week. Making the trip to the VTB Arena on Wednesday evening, there is no doubt that Azmoun and Zenit will be looking to make another statement in midweek. Putting in a worrying display and hit with a 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal Tula over the weekend, Dinamo could be in for another overwhelming test against the defending champions. Winning just a pair of their last six matchups on home soil, it should also be noted that the hosts have lost each of their last three meetings against Semak’s men.
Tip: Zenit win @ 8/11
19:45 Celtic vs Ferencvaros
Starting with Wednesday’s hosts, while they might have left it late to grab a deserved 1-0 win away at Premiership returners Dundee United over the weekend, Neil Lennon’s side managed to keep the momentum in their camp at a high as they turn their attentions back to European duties in midweek. With a return to the group stage of this year’s Champions League firmly at the top of their agenda, there is no doubt that the Hoops would have been bosted by a rampant display against Icelandic outfit KR Reykjavik at Celtic Park last week. Putting on a real clinic in Glasgow, the Scottish giants landed a very impressive 6-0 romp and Lennon would have also been glad to see attacking talisman Odsonne Edouard extend on what has been a free-scoring run while on European duties. Once again finding the net against Reykjavik last week, the SPFL Player of the Year has got himself on the scoresheet in his last four European performances on the bounce. Also opening the new Premiership campaign with a hat-trick against Hamilton earlier in the month, Celtic should be confident of extending on their Champions League journey on Wednesday night. As for the midweek guests, while Ferencvaros might have romped to their 32nd Hungarian domestic crown over the summer, they should be in for an overwhelming step up in class on foreign soil. Managing to win just three of their last eight away matchups across all competitions, we’re backing the Hoops to put in another European romp in Glasgow.
Tip: Celtic half-time/full-time @ 11/10
Our Wednesday Accumulator:
Rotor Volgograd vs Spartak Moscow – Spartak Moscow to score over 1.5 goals @ 5/6
Dinamo Moscow vs Zenit – Zenit win @ 8/11
Celtic vs Ferencvaros – Celtic half-time/full-time @ 11/10
Place a £10 bet on our accumulator with 888sport and pocket £65.21 if all predictions are correct.
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