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Europa League: All to play for in third-round qualifiers after first-leg upsets

04 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Europa League: All to play for in third-round qualifiers after first-leg upsets

Many teams underperformed in last week's matches - there is significant pressure on them to improve and ensure progression to the the play-off round

23/10 – West Ham to draw at Astra Giurgiu

Astra Coach Maruis Sumudica planned to rest eight players from the 2-2 draw his side earned in the first leg of the third qualifying round this weekend in their domestic league – a clear indication he is prioritising the Europa League over their domestic campaign.

Despite being favourites for the clash,  it will not be an easy task for the travelling Hammers, whose ill-discipline contributed to them squandering a two-goal lead.

Key men Enner Valencia and James Collins will miss the match through injury and suspension respectively, while Slaven Bilic is expected to field an understrength side with their first Premier League of the new season just three days away.

1/14 – Borussia Dortmund to beat Wolfsberger

Thomas Tuchel’s first competitive match as Dortmund manager saw a narrow 1-0 win for his side, so another considered effort is required in order to get the job done.

The hosts, who are favourites to win the tournament, will want to improve upon their narrow win in the first leg.

The quality of Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyanigh-scoring affair.

11/5 – FC Zurich to beat Dinamo Minsk

FC Zurich having the greater European pedigree, but it was the Belarusian side – appearing in just their second Europa League – who triumphed in the first leg, edging a tight encounter 1-0.

The tie is certainly not out of reach for the Swiss side, though.

They boast a number of internationals – including Gilles Yapi Yapo of the Ivory Costa and Yassine Chikhaoui of Tunisia – and their previous experience of European competitions means they will believe they can overturn the deficit away from home.

11/10 – Aberdeen to beat Kairat Almaty

Despite losing the first leg 2-1, the Dons will still feel they stand a good chance of progressing past this stage of the competition.

Derek McInnes’ men have the home advantage, meaning that this time it is their opponents who will have to make the 4000-mile journey to play.

Aberdeen will look to last season’s top scorer Adam Rooney to fire them through at the expense of a side who have reached their furthest ever stage in a European competition.

If the first leg demonstrated the significance of home advantage, then Aberdeen’s superior quality should see them progress comfortably.

1/2 – Athletic Bilbao to beat Inter Baku

The Basque side secured a comfortable 2-0 win in the first leg, so it will require something pretty special from their Azerbaijani opponents to stop them from winning the tie. It is unlikely to happen.

Los Leones have vastly superior players and they will be expected to win with relative ease once again.

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