FOOTBALL BETTING: The 3rd round of qualifiers in the Champions League sees some of the bigger teams coming in, all trying to get a piece of the action in the lucrative group stages.
Tuesday 27 July:
TNS of Wales have a moment in the sun on Tuesday as they entertain Belgian champions Anderlecht. The New Saints are a juicy 11/1 with Sportingbet which relects the harsh truth that they are up against it in this tie. Anderlecht, having just won the Belgian Super Cup, will most probably bring a host of experienced players over to Wales and look to shut out the tie in the 1st round. Anderlecht are 1/3 with Stan James to do so. TNS did impress in the last leg after a 4-0 home win against Bohemians when they were 11/4 just to get a win but Anderlecht provide a whole different dimension and proposition. Perhaps they will hold out at 0-0 for 30 or even 45 mins as Anderlecht find their feet but TNS can expect to be happy with a 1 or 2-0 loss (7/1 and 11/2 respectively, Victor Chandler).
Fellow Belgians Gent, who lost in the Super Cup final to Anderlecht, begin their Champions League campaign with a tricky away tie in the Ukraine at Dynamo Kiev. Kiev have the advantage of 3 league games under their belt to get up to match speed and 3/10 about Kiev (Betdaq) is fair enough.
Omonia Nicosia v Red Bull Salzburg, R3, L1, 17:00
Dynamo Kiev v AA Gent, R3, L1, 18:00
Litex Lovech v MSK Zilina, R3, L1, 18:00
Unirea Urziceni v Zenit St Petersburg, R3, L1, 18:30
Sparta Prague v Lech Poznan, R3, L1, 19:30
The New Saints v Anderlecht, R3, L1, 19:45
Wednesday 28 July:
The group phase of the Champions League may only be a couple of rounds away for Celtic, but the bookies feel that the Hoops face an uphill struggle to qualify for the lucrative round-robin phase. Stan James make Neil Lennon’s side 7/2 to successfully negotiate their four tricky fixtures, the first of which is on Tuesday as they head to Portugal to face Sporting de Braga.
The Portuguese league runners-up were unbeaten at Estadio AXA last season in 15 games, winning 14 of them. Celtic’s away record in the Champions League is awful but they can take heart from Braga’s loss to Elfsborg last year in the Europa League qualifiers and the fact they are not prolific in front of goal. The problem is, Braga only conceded 6 at home all year. Celtic at 11/4 (Stan James) have it all to do and a low scoring victory for Braga may be on the cards, 1-0 Braga is 11/2 with Bet365.
BATE v FC Copenhagen, R3, L1, 17:00
FC Aktobe v Hapoel Tel-Aviv, R3, L1, 17:00
FC Sheriff Tiraspol v Dinamo Zagreb, R3, L1, 18:00
Debrecen v Basle, R3, L1, 19:00
Young Boys v Fenerbahce, R3, L1, 19:15
AIK v Rosenborg, R3, L1, 19:45
Ajax v PAOK Salonika, R3, L1, 19:45
Partizan Belgrade v HJK Helsinki, R3, L1, 19:45
Braga v Celtic, R3, L1, 20:00