APOEL Nicosia v Slavia Prague Betting Tips: Goals at both ends expected at GSP Stadium

19:45

Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs gives his prediction for Tuesday’s Champions League play-off between APOEL Nicosia and Slavia Prague at GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus.

For many of the sides involved in the Champions League play-offs, this week’s round of matches will be their first taste of European football this season, but this is not the case for APOEL nor Slavia Prague. Both of these two teams have been involved in something of a summer slog as far as European football goes. In order to be involved in this final play-off tie, both have had to come through previous rounds; APOEL have already come through against both Dudelange and FC Viitorul while Slavia Praga got the better of BATE in the last round.

From a betting point of view, this doesn’t appear to be the easiest fixture to call. APOEL, as the hosts, have been priced up as very narrow favourites at 8/5, a price which seems about right. There was something to like about the manner in which both made it through the previous round and so a case could probably made for both as far as winning goes. However, rather than getting behind either team to come out on top in this first-leg, the bet that stands out most is ‘Both Teams to Score’ at odds of 6/5.

In front of a home crowd, APOEL aren’t often shut out as they’ve scored in four of their last five at GSP Stadium, as well as in seven of their last ten. In addition, they’ve scored at least once in both of their two home matches in Champions League qualifying so far. Given the fact that Slavia conceded twice away to BATE in their last qualifying match, the hosts should feel upbeat about finding the net here, especially with a home crowd behind them. What’s more, Giorgos Donis’ me have scored at least once in each of their last six home Champions League fixtures.

Like the hosts, Slavia come into this fixture with a promising scoring record on the road, despite failing to score in their latest away match. Prior to this outing, the Czech visitors have scored in nine of their last ten away matches, as well as in 18 of their last 20. Such a record bodes well, as does the fact that they managed to score away from home against BATE in the last round, a goal that proved to be decisive as it sent Jaroslav Šilhavý’s men through on away-goals. With this in mind, the Czech’s will know all too well the importance of bagging a goal on the road and they can be expected to go in search of one here. The fact that they both scored and created plenty of chances away from home in the last round should spur the visitors on and they ought to fancy themselves to find the net again. However, based on the manner in which they defended against BATE, which wasn’t all that impressive, it’s hard to see them walking away with a clean sheet.

Having seen both of these two teams look to get on the front foot last time out in this competition, more of the same is fancied. At the prices, ‘Both Teams to Score’ looks a good bet as this pair attempt to assert themselves ahead of the second-leg.

More Champions League tips can be found here.

Single: Pending
APOEL Nicosia v Slavia Prague
22.08.2017 19:45 BST
Champions League
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