Betting round-up: Liverpool's test of Hearts

Liverpool take on Scottish club Hearts in a 'Battle of Britain', while there are plenty of other big fish in action as the fourth round of Europa League qualifying begins

Liverpool are the heavy favourites heading into Thursday's Europa League 'Battle of Britain' tie against Scottish Premier League club Hearts, despite the former's shaky start to their 2012-13 English Premier League campaign.

New manager Brendan Rodgers' first EPL game in charge of the Reds turned into a nightmare as Liverpool were humbled 3-0 away by a West Bromwich Albion side tipped to struggle this season after losing their manager Roy Hodgson to the England job.

However, the punters are expecting Liverpool - three-time winners of this competition - to bounce back in what is the pick of the 30 games in the fourth and final qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, ahead of the start of the group stage in September.

Luxbet's Andy Scott said the Reds have been heavily backed ahead of their trip to Edinburgh, firming from $1.51 to $1.45 in head-to-head betting at online bookmakers Luxbet.

Hearts are unfancied at $6.75, while the draw is at $3.80.

Liverpool are coming off their worst EPL finish in 18 years last season - eighth - which resulted in club legend Kenny Dalglish making way for former Swansea manager Rodgers, and their new EPL campaign could hardly have got off to a worse start on Saturday.

However, Hearts - the Scottish Cup winners last season - have also made a shaky start to the new season in drawing both their SPL matches so far against Hibernian and Inverness.

Liverpool are short at $1.45 in head-to-head betting, given their poor display on Saturday at the Hawthorns, with the Reds better value at $2.15 to lead at both half-time and full-time.

Back Stuttgart, Feyenoord, Newcastle, Inter Milan, Athletic Bilbao & Lazio to win
Newcastle to lead at both half- and full-time v Atromitos as $3.65 at Luxbet

The other EPL outfit in action in the Europa League on Thursday are Newcastle United, who look the bet of the round at $2.20 to win away at Greek minnow Atromitos, who are at $3.10.

The Magpies performed magnificently in the EPL last season to finish fifth and already look set to back that up this year after beating last season's fourth-placed finishers Tottenham 2-1 on the opening day of the EPL season.

And the Magpies are even better value at $3.65 to lead at both half and full-time in this match, while they are at the fantastic odds of $20 at Luxbet to win this match 3-0 against a Greek side they should simply be too good for.

Leading Serie A sides Lazio and Inter Milan are also in action on Thursday, with the former one of the shortest-priced favourites of the night at $1.25 at Luxbet as they travel to NK Mura of Slovenia, who are at $9.25.

Inter have a tougher task but should win at $1.71 away to Romanian side Vaslui at $4.70, while other big guns that should easily progress to the group stages are last season's runners-up Athletic Bilbao [$1.18 at Luxbet to win at home against HJK Helsinki at $13], German club Stuttgart [$1.56 at home against Dynamo Moscow at $5.25] and Dutch giants Feyenoord [$1.66 at Luxbet at home to Sparta Prague at $4.75].

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