In this post betting tips and previews for the first legs matches of the second round of Champions League qualifiers:
Ventspils-Hjk Helsinki, Apoel Nicosia-Vardar Skopje, Ludogorets Razgrad-Milsami, Hibernians-Maccabi Tel Aviv and Molde-Pyunik Yerevan.
VENTSPILS - HJK HELSINKI
HJK has only collected 2 points in the last 4 matches of finnish league but it is surely favourite vs Ventspils.
HJK played the Europa League group stage. This team is stronger than last year with a new goalkeeper Orlund and the two japanese
Tanaka and Havenaar.
Main purpose for latvian team is to score an away goal and hope to get the qualification in the second leg.
Ventspils occupies the 3rd position in the latvian league (composed by 8 teams).
All its players are latvian exception made for the lithuanian Paulius.
We expect the away win since HJK is surely stronger and has more international experience.
APOEL NICOSIA - VARDAR SKOPJE
Apoel Nicosia wishes to take part to the next Champions League again after last year experience.
In the previous edition Apoel was able to concede only one goal to Barcelona in Camp Nou and a total of 2 goals vs PSG in 2 matches.
Both national leagues are stopped and teams have hastened their preparation in sight of Champions League qualifiers.
Apoel has lost Riise, Sheridan and Djebbour but has found good alternatives: Waterman (goalkeeper), Stilic (advanced midfielder) and Luis Leal (forwarder).
We choose the home win thinking that Cyprus team will try to secure the qualification with a convincing performance tonight.
HOME WIN HANDICAP (-1.0) (1.65, Sporting Bet)
LUDOGORETS RAZGRAD - MILSAMI
Ludogorets played the group stage of the previous Champions League edition, fighting till the penultimate gameweek for an historical qualification to the last 16 stage.
Bulgarian team had previously made a good impression 2 years ago in Europa League being eliminated in the last 16 stage by Valencia.
Ludogorets has changed few players: sold players are Junior Caiçara, Espinho and Bejzak but the club has bought Cicinho and Jody Lukoki.
New coach, the portuguese Bruno Ribeiro will probably have an easy debut vs Milsami, a modest moldavian team.
We choose home win.
HIBERNIANS - MACCABI TEL AVIV
Maccabi has big chances to take part to the next Champions League.
The opponents are not that strong: Hibernians, a maltese team which has won the last national league.
Maccabi has 7 israeli national team players and 5 skilled foreigners such as the spanish central back Carlos Garcia and the nigerian midfielder Nosa Igiebor.
The top players are Zahavi, Ben Haim and the forwarder Ben Basat.
The new coach, Jokanovic, wishes to see his team with an offensive mentality based on the ball possession and keeping a very high defensive line.
This gamestyle could be really dangerous at the beginning, it needs to be tested a lot and considering that the central back Ben Haim is notoriously slow, we would not be surprised to see Maccabi concede a goal with an opponent's counterattack.
MOLDE - PYUNIK YEREVAN
Molde is stronger than Pyunik and can count on a better physical condition.
Home team is playing the norwegian league which is in its central part and they currently occupy the 6th position.
Molde has 10 national team players and generally speaking skilled players are not missing.
Pyunik Yerevan are the armenian league champions but they are not on a great shape since armenian league is stopped in this period.
Considering they conceded a goal in both legs of the previous round vs Folgore Falciano (a non professional team) we bet on the home win.
HOME WIN (1.30,
Skenderbeu-Crusaders HOME WIN (1.52, Matchbook)
Trencin-Steaua Bucarest DRAW (3.20, Matchbook)
Partizan-Dila Gori HOME WIN (1.30, Matchbook)
Sarajevo-Lech Poznan LECH POZNAN DOUBLE CHANCE X2 (1.24, Matchbook)