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Europa League Play-Off Acca: Underdogs can protect advantage and shock the giants

24 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Europa League Play-Off Acca: Underdogs can protect advantage and shock the giants

After a number of surprise results last week, several ties remain finely poised ahead of the all-important second legs

23/10 – Midtjylland and Southampton to draw

After a hard-fought 1-1 draw at St Mary’s in the first leg, Southampton travel to Denmark for the return fixture knowing they need to score at least once to progress through to the group stages after former academy player Tim Sparv gave their opponents a precious away goal.

While Ronald Koeman’s side may be short on confidence having not managed to win any of their first three Premier League games this season, the home side will be buoyed after an impressive start to their domestic campaign that has seen them unbeaten in their first six.

The difference in form leaves the door open for the underdog Danes to take something from this match.

8/5 – Ajax to beat Jablonec

Frank de Boer’s Ajax have had almost the perfect start to the season, winning their opening three games in the Eredivisie, scoring eight times and not conceding a single goal.

The only negative was their shock 5-4 aggregate defeat to Rapid Wien in the Champions League qualifiers, which resulted in them joining the play-offs for the Europa League.

The visitors, who finished third in the Czech league last season, are looking to qualify for their first ever European competition, having fallen at the qualification stages three times in the last six years.

This game is unlikely to break that run, however, with the undoubted quality of the Dutch side likely prove decisive.

2/9 – Athletic Bilbao to beat Zilina

In one of the shock results of the first-leg fixtures, Zilina beat Athletic Bilbao in a 3-2 thriller, fighting back from two goals down to clinch a stunning victory.

The Slovak side now travel to Bilbao to try and protect that slender lead and ensure qualification for the group stages of the competition.

But that won’t be easy – the home side defeated Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup and only narrowly lost to the same opposition in their first La Liga game.

Manager Ernesto Valverde is likely to name a stronger line-up than the one he selected last week and that should be enough to turn the tie.

1/16 – Borussia Dortmund to beat Odd Bk

Odd was certainly one word to describe the first leg of this tie – a seven-goal thriller which saw German giants Dortmund emerge with a narrow 4-3 lead to take into the second leg.

The Norwegian side stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first 22 minutes but the German side’s manager Thomas Tuchel will be aware of the threat posed by their opponents this time around.

Lessons learnt from that game will mean that Dortmund, roared on by the fanatical Westfalenstadion crowd, should win this game comfortably.

5/2 – AZ Alkmaar and Astra Giurgiu to draw

In another impressive first-leg comeback, Romanian side Astra Giurgiu came from two goals behind against AZ Alkmaar to win 3-2.

The current league leaders in their country, Astra are the surprise outfit of this season’s qualifiers, having already defeated Inverness and West Ham to reach this stage.

Their hosts – despite beating Turkish side Basaksehir 4-1 on aggregate to reach this stage – have struggled domestically and are still searching for their first win after three games of the Eredivisie.

The visitors are high on confidence after their previous upsets in this competition and a draw would be enough to get them through to the group stages of the competition.

£10 on the five-fold accumulator returns £389.97*.

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Europa League betting

*Odds and amounts correct at time of publication but subject to change. See site for latest.