APOEL V Sutjeska Betting Tips: Under 3.5 Goals – 30 July 2019

APOEL likely to ease to victory

Champions League Tips

APOEL V Sutjeska Niksic

Tuesday 30th July 2019 – 18:00 Kick-Off
UEFA Champions League Second Round
Pick: Under 3.5 Goals
Odds: 4/6
Bookmaker: Boylesports

1 X 2
2/25 171/20 47/2

* (All betting odds displayed were correct as of 26th July 2019 at 20:56)

First Leg: Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL (Goal(s): Tomas De Vincenti).

Preview: A scrappy 1-0 win in Montenegro for APOEL has the Cypriot champions firmly in the ascendency in this tie. Sutjeska Niksic were huge underdogs when the draw was made and now, according to the bookmakers at least, they are all but out of the tournament despite there being a second leg to play. The GPS Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus is the venue for this deciding second leg.

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APOEL Preview – Cypriots to extend winning streak in Europe?

The hard work was achieved in Montenegro. It was neither spectacular nor entirely convincing, but that 1-0 victory – courtesy of a converted Tomas De Vincenti penalty – has APOEL firmly in control of this tie heading back to Cyprus. The bookmakers are of the opinion that it should be a formality in this second leg. To be completely honest, it is difficult to disagree.

It is a slender advantage. However, recent history would suggest it is a lead that will more than suffice for a team which has been irrepressible at home in Europe. In the past two campaigns, APOEL can boast a 100% record in the qualifying rounds, with the club from Nicosia currently on a seven-match winning streak when playing in Cyprus.

Last season there were home triumphs over Suduva of Lithuania (1-0), Flora Tallinn of Estonia (5-0), Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva (3-1) and Astana of Kazakhstan (1-0). It is understandable, therefore, that bookmakers have taken no prisoners in pricing up the hosts here, against what is quite possibly the weakest outfit the Cypriot champions have faced on the continent in some time.

That aforementioned victory against Hapoel Be’er Sheva was the only occasion in which APOEL have conceded at home during their current seven match winning run. Considering they already won the away leg without so much as conceding (although they were admittedly fortunate to do so), the prospects of another win to nil would appear very healthy. Odds of 2/5 with Boylesports, however, are on the thin side.

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Sutjeska Preview – Qualification hopes already passed Montenegro champs by?

Has their best chance of causing a shock passed them by? Montenegro champions Sutjeska will still be reliving last week’s encounter over and over in their heads because, on another day, we could have been discussing a famous result in the club’s history. The reality is that they find themselves trailing in the tie and needing a minor miracle in Cyprus to remain in the tournament.

However, Sutjeska surprised most people with their performance in the first leg, displaying plenty of attacking intent to create several presentable openings. None more so than in the 69th minute when squandering a glorious opportunity to level proceedings from the penalty spot. Stefan Nikolic’s failure to convert from 12-yards was hard on the hosts, who seemingly did enough to earn a share of the spoils.

For a club yet to win in Europe as the visiting side, the signs are certainly ominous regarding any potential for a comeback. Their record away from home in UEFA competitions reads W0 D3 L5, scoring against just four of those opponents and never more than once. So it is a tall order, which is an understatement considering the current run their opponents are on in Cyprus, but Sutjeska should take heart from some of their recent away efforts.

In the previous round, the four-time Montenegro title winners travelled to Slovakia and earned a very credible 1-1 draw with Slovan Bratislava. That, coupled with a goalless draw out in Armenia versus Alashkert during a 2017-18 Europa League tie, means they are now unbeaten in their two most recent trips on the continent. Clutching at straws perhaps, as we are still talking about a side which has only ever celebrated victory once in Europe in fifteen previous attempts (W1 D5 L9).

 

APOEL V Sutjeska Key Facts:

  • APOEL have won their past seven home games in European qualifiers.
  • Sutjeska have never claimed victory in a European away game (W0 D3 L5).
  • The first leg was a game of two penalties – one scored by APOEL and one missed by Sutjeska.

 

Betting Summary

Perhaps fortunate to come away with the victory last week, APOEL nevertheless are prominent to qualify for the next round. Victory in this match would be their eighth in a row at home in a European qualifying fixture, while a team from Israel were the only side capable of even scoring past them during that sequence.

Sutjeska will understandably have their fair share of regrets following the first leg, after creating some chances and spurning a penalty. However, it would appear any lingering hope regarding them progressing disappeared in Montenegro. As while they did earn an eye-catching draw away to Slovan Bratislava in the round prior, this is a club which has failed to win an away European match in eight previous attempts.

APOEL are predictably short odds to win, which means creativity is required once again. I’m inclined to take a chance on there being a shortage of goals. All eight of Sutjeska’s previous matches in Europe have produced two goals or fewer. With APOEL not needing to overextend themselves here, it could be more of a procession rather than a rout.


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