UEFA Champions League qualifying: final ties before group stages to be played

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Final three first leg encounters will be played this coming Wednesday (22 August)

Oddshark

It is without doubt the most prestigious club competition around. The UEFA Champions League group stages are just around the corner, with the final places in those groups to be decided by two legged qualifying ties, with the first legs set for this week.

Getting the ball rolling

Before you go any further, swing by the Oddsshark website, procure your favourite betting agency and get your very own account sorted out with a username and password. As a new customer and with the Champions League group stages set to get underway next month, there should be a wide range of promotions and offers for you to enjoy.

Where should I be investing my money?

Hungarian club MOL Vidi are looking to break into the group stages of the continental competition, but will have to negotiate a way past Greek league champions AEK Athens in order to do so. The side have made it this far by edging their way past Dudelange, Ludogorets and Malmo, but beating AEK would be the biggest scalp to date – if it can indeed be done.

AEK’s domestic campaign does not start until next week, but that did not stop them getting past Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic in the previous round. And looking at a simple bet based solely on who will qualify over the course of two legs, it is AEK who are the clear favourites at 1.22, while MOL are out at 4.00, according to Oddsshark.

And taking only this first leg tie into account, again AEK are the favourites to pick up the win, despite playing away from home. You can more than double your money by backing the Greeks at 2.20, while MOL are at the higher price of 3.50 – a comfortable, 2-0 win for AEK comes in at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment.

Young Boys look to maintain good recent form

Swiss club Young Boys will look to continue their own hot streak when they take on Dinamo Zagreb. Young Boys have won eight of their last 10 games and have made an excellent start to the new Swiss Super League season, having won their first four games in the competition.

However, they come up against a team who find themselves on an equally good run of form. Dinamo have also won eight of their last 10 matches and will be in the mood to cause an upset here.

Therefore, Young Boys must make home advantage count in this crucial first leg, and they are the favourites to get the win. The Swiss side are at just 1.72 to walk away victorious, with Dinamo out at 4.50 and a draw priced in the middle at 3.80 - 2-1 win for the home side is priced competitively at 8.50.

Looking at the betting to qualify for the group stages, however, and it becomes a lot closer. Young Boys remain the favourites at 1.66, but Dinamo’s price falls significantly to 2.10.

Ajax look to recover former European glory

And finally, former European champions Ajax are the red hot favourites to pick up a first leg win over Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev. The Dutch club have made an excellent start to the new season and are unbeaten in five games thus far.

Kiev, however, are unlikely to be pushovers by any stretch of the imagination. Dynamo are unbeaten in six matches themselves, although admittedly Ajax will offer a far more stringent test than anything they have faced so far on their own soil.

Ajax, however, have not reached the group stages of the UEFA Champions League for four seasons now, and their fans will be desperate to recapture a taste of those glory years when they were one of the most feared sides on the continent. This is an excellent chance to change their recent fortunes.

Looking at a simple bet on who will qualify for the group stages, it is Ajax who come in as slight favourites at 1.61, with Dynamo at the higher price of 2.20. Taking this first leg tie individually and the prices are not quite so compact.

The Dutch club are at just 1.66 to pick up a vital win on home soil, which would give them something to defend in the return encounter, while Dynamo are further out at 5.00. A 2-0 win for Ajax is priced at 7.50, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$37.50 pay out.

UEFA Champions League qualifying first leg ties:

(1.66) Ajax x Dynamo Kiev (5.00); draw (3.80)

(3.50) MOL x AEK (2.20); draw (3.10)

(1.72) Young Boys x Dinamo Zagreb (4.50); draw (3.80)

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