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Mick Cooke's men go into their Europa Cup clash on the back of a five-game losing streak in the league, and Al Hain-Cole fears they could be in for a heavy defeat

Drogheda United face a tough start to their Europa League campaign on Thursday, as they take on Swedish giants Malmo in a first round qualifying match at the Tallaght Stadium.

Mick Cooke’s men find themselves in mid-table after struggling to build on last season’s second place finish, but will hope that Monday’s 3-0 League Cup win over Cork City will give them the confidence to pull off a shock victory against the former European Cup finalists, at odds of 5/1 (6.00) with William Hill.

Meanwhile, the visitors are currently challenging for the Allsvenskan title, and are strong 4/9 (1.44) favourites to replicate last year’s friendly victory over Shamrock Rovers at this stadium by coming out on top.

The hosts’ last home Europa League clash resulted in a 1-1 draw against Helsingborg six years ago, and you can get odds of 14/5 (3.80) on them claiming a share of the spoils against another Swedish opponent.

As favourites, Rikard Norling’s men will be keen to relieve any pressure by putting the tie to bed as soon as possible, meaning they should start on the front foot from the off.

Considering only three teams have conceded more goals than Drogs in the Irish Premier Division, they cannot afford to rely on their defensive prowess to grind out a result, while the fact that only three Allsvenskan sides have a better goal-scoring record than the visitors suggests that there should be plenty of goalmouth action in Dublin.

The two sides have recorded a measly four clean sheets in 32 league games between them, so odds of 4/5 (1.80) look very inviting on over 2.5 goals being scored, in a bet that would have paid out in 11 of the hosts’ last 15 games, as well as seven of di Blae’s last eight.

Realistically, a Malmo team featuring a number of full internationals should dominate against a side who come into the match on the back of five consecutive league defeats, and odds of 9/4 (3.25) offer tempting value on the Swedish side winning both halves.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Over 2.5 goals at 4/5 (1.80) with William Hill
Malmo to win both halves at 9/4 (3.25) with William Hill

Sign up with William Hill for a £25 free bet

Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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