Best Odds: 43/20
The UEFA Europa League is back in our lives once again this week as we reach the final phase of games before the group stage gets underway. Many teams will fancy themselves in the push to get over the play-off finish line but courtesy of the first leg results, some are better positioned than others. Today, we’ll take a look at what should be a fascinating clash of styles between Qarabag and Aberdeen with the tie being on a real knife edge.
Aberdeen struggled in the first leg with a 1-0 defeat but if you take one look at their domestic form with an unbeaten start to the new league campaign and a defeat in the cup, it does seem as if they’re putting many of their eggs into the Premiership basket. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to crumble
Emmanuel-Thomas is set to be brought into the starting XI but Considine and Hedges are still out through injury with McLennan heading off with a slight knock against Hearts.
The kings of Azerbaijan have been known for making some noise in Europe over the last few years but their primary aim now, we’d imagine, would be to really take that one step further and start to become a consistently strong presence in the Europa League. They’ve got a good core unit within their squad that’s very familiar with one another and when you add in a lively fanbase, the sky could well be the limit.
The visitors are largely expected to stick with the starting XI that got them to this point from the first leg with Gurbanli heading back to the subs bench and goalscorer Romero featuring from the first whistle.
Aberdeen are going to huff and puff but we don’t think they’re going to blow Qarabag’s house down, even with a potentially rowdy crowd at Pittodrie. We’re instead expecting to see a frustrating game for the home faithful that ends in a 0-0 draw and while that may spell the end of their run in this competition given that they lost the first leg 1-0, it’ll still be interesting to see what they can accomplish in the Premiership and beyond.
Best Odds: 43/20
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