Motherwell - Levante Betting Preview: Back La Liga outfit to light up Lanarkshire

Stuart McCall's men were knocked out of the Champions League earlier this month and Willie Duncan expects more misery for the Steelmen against Juan Ignacio Martinez's side
Motherwell were knocked out of Champions League qualifying when they were beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Panathinaikos but Stuart McCall’s Steelmen will have a second bite of the European cherry when they meet La Liga side Levante in the Europa League play-off round at Fir Park on Thursday.

Motherwell were victorious for the first time this season at the weekend when a Jamie Murphy double was enough to see off Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and bookmaker William Hill offers 14/5 (3.80) that McCall’s men are victorious on Thursday.

Levante made a solid start to their own domestic campaign at the weekend with a 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid and Juan Ignacio Martinez's side are rated as an even money (2.0) chance with William Hill to leave Lanarkshire with a first leg lead. The same firm offer 23/10 (3.30) that the tie ends in stalemate.

The return to form of striker Jamie Murphy will provide the Scottish Premier League side with a timely boost ahead of this clash and the front man, who bagged nine goals for his side last term can be backed at a chunky 15/2 (8.50) with William Hill to open the scoring against Levante.

Estonian striker Henrik Ojamaa scored an impressive seven goals in 18 appearances for the Fir Park club and the dangerous striker is available at William Hill’s 13/2 (7.50) quote to open his account for the season with the opening goal here.

Veteran Greek striker Theofanis Gekas, who has 62 caps for his country, is likely to spearhead Levante’s attack on Thursday.

The striker, who joined the La Liga side in the summer following a successful six month spell with Samsunspor in Turkey, is 5/1 (6.0) with William Hill to score first while Nabil El Zhar, who scored for Levante at the weekend, is a massive price at 11/1 (12.0) with the same firm to score first.

Juan Ignacio Martinez's side may not be La Liga’s most fashionable club but they should still have too much strength and depth of quality for Motherwell and there are plenty of attractive prices on offer with William Hill such as the chunky 3/1 (4.0) for Levante (-1) to win on the handicap market while the Spanish side are outstanding value at 13/5 (3.60) to lead at both half time and full time.

Keeping it simple, though, is often the route to profit and punters should be lining up to snap up the even money (2.0) quote from William Hill for an away win at Fir Park on Thursday night.

Levante to beat Motherwell at even money (2.0) with William Hill
Nabil El Zhar to score first at 11/1 (12.0) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter