Azerbaijani champions FK Qarabag are aiming to take another significant stride towards reaching the Champions League group stages for the first time in their history when they host FC Copenhagen in the first leg of their play-off round tie on Tuesday night.
Gurban Gurbanov’s charges have already come through two rounds to set up their meeting with the Danish champions and the Azerbaijani outfit, who kicked off their domestic season with a 3-1 win on Friday night, will hope that their strong home record in this competition will help them to take the initiative in the tie against Stale Solbakken’s side.
Indeed, it is worth noting that Qarabag are unbeaten in eight Champions League qualification matches on their own turf, with Gurbanov’s side conceding just two home goals in those games; SportPesa go 7/5 (2.40) that Qarabag secure a vital victory to take into next week’s return leg in the Danish capital.
Copenhagen, of course, reached the group stages of this competition last season, with Solbakken’s side finishing third in Group G behind Leicester City and Porto; emulating that achievement, then, is surely the aim for the Danes this season and they will fancy their chances of getting the better of Gurbanov’s charges over two legs.
SportPesa offer a generous 11/5 (3.20) that Solbakken’s side seize a first leg lead when they make the trip to Azerbaijan, while the odds compilers offer 2/1 (3.0) that the two teams remain all square at the end of 90 minutes; that particular selection would have seen punters profit from four of the last six home matches that Qarabag have played in Champions League qualification.
Just one of those six fixtures – a thumping 5-0 win against FC Samtredia of Georgia last month – featured more than two goals and, so, it is perhaps unsurprising that SportPesa offer just 20/39 (1.51) that there are fewer than three goals scored on this occasion; the same firm go 20/29 (1.69) that either team fails to find the net.
A goal-laden clash certainly seems unlikely, for Solbakken’s men have seen more than two goals scored in just one of their last seven Champions League ties on their travels, while there have been three or more goals in just one of the last five fixtures that the Danes have fulfilled in all competitions.
A tight, tense tie seems likely and, with so much at stake, it is SportPesa’s 31/20 (2.55) quote for fewer than two goals to be scored that could represent best value for punters ahead of Tuesday’s tussle.
|Under 1.5 goals at 31/20 (2.55) for a 1pt stake with SportPesa|