Former European champions Ajax in action as they look to book place in group stages
This coming Tuesday night (14 August) will see the return encounters in the third qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League take place. The continental competition is considered the greatest club football competition in the world and the stakes are high this week with a lucrative place at the top table of European football on offer.
First things first
Before you go any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, find your favourite betting site and get your very own account up and running via your credit card. As a brand new customer and with the Champions League group stages set to get underway next month, there should be a whole host of promotions and offers available to you.
Where should I be investing my money?
The tie between Hungarian club MOL Vidi and Swedish outfit Malmo FF looks very finely poised ahead of the second leg. The opening game ended in 1-1 draw in Sweden, and minnows MOL must now fancy their chances of progressing in the continental competition at the expense of a bigger fish.
In addition, MOL have made an unbeaten start to their national league season, whereas Malmo sit in sixth in the Swedish league, a huge 11 points off AIK at the top of the table. Nevertheless, at 2.40 it is Malmo who are the slight favourites to win this return encounter, with MOL further out at 3.10, according to Oddsshark.
Red Bull almost there
One side who would look to have one foot in the group stages is Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg. They are set to travel to take on Macedonian outfit Shkendija Tetovo, having won the first leg 3-0 last week – this would appear to be a mere formality.
Red Bull boast a 100 per cent record in their domestic league and confidence will be sky high. Despite being away from home, they are the red hot favourites to win this second leg at a price of 1.40, while the Macedonian outfit are at 8.00 to pick up victory in front of their own fans.
But it is when you look at a simple bet on who will qualify that the differences between the two teams really stand out. Whereas Red Bull are at 1.001 to progress, Shkendija Tetovo are at 101.00 – another 3-0 win for Red Bull is priced at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment.
Ajax in need of a win
One side who do not want to contemplate missing out on the group stages of the Champions League is Dutch giants Ajax. They meet Belgian club Standard Liege and, after the first leg last week ended in a 2-2 draw, it is very much Ajax who are in the driving seat in this tie.
Looking at a simple bet based on who will qualify, Ajax come in as the clear favourites at a price of just 1.11. To put Standard’s plight into context, they are out at 6.50 to progress at the expense of the former European champions.
Betting on the method of qualification sees the price against Ajax rise slightly. You can back them to qualify inside 90 minutes at a price of 1.14, while they are at 1.36 to win this match inside the same time period.
However, if you think Standard can pull off a shock win in Amsterdam then you can back them to do so at 8.50. This would look to be a night for Ajax, however, and a 3-1 win for the Dutch giants is priced at 11.00, thereby offering more than a ten-fold return on any investment – you can also back over 2.5 goals in the game at 1.57 and both teams to score at the slightly higher price of 1.80.
Red Star have it all to do
And one team still with it all to do is Red Star Belgrade. The Serbian club drew 1-1 at home with Spartak Trnava of Slovakia and now need a win on the road if they are to progress in the continental competition.
And despite an unfavourable set of circumstances, it is Red Star who remain as the favourites to go through. You can back the Serbs to qualify at just 1.50, while you could more than double your money if you think Trnava will go through at 2.50.
Red Star are also the favourites to win this second leg at just 1.95 while Spartak, despite playing in front of their own fans, are out at 4.33. A narrow, 1-0 win for Red Star is at 6.00, while you can back under 2.5 goals in the game at just 1.60.
Champions League third qualifying round second leg fixtures:
(1.80) Dynamo Kiev x Slavia Prague (4.75); draw (3.40)
(2.00) BATE x Qarabag (4.00); draw (3.20)
(1.72) Spartak x PAOK (5.00); draw (3.50)
(2.80) AEK Athens v Celtic (2.60); draw (3.10)
(1.66) Dinamo Zagreb x (5.25) FC Astana; draw (3.60)
(2.75) Fenerbache x Benfica (2.60); draw (3.20)
(3.10) MOL x Malmo (2.40); draw (3.10)
(8.00) Shkendija Tetovo x Red Bull Salzburg (1.40); draw (4.40)
(1.36) Ajax x Standard Liege (8.50); draw (4.75)
(4.33) Spartak Trnava v Red Star Belgrade (1.95); draw (3.10)