APOEL v Anderlecht Betting Tips: Cypriots to continue thriving on their own patch

Mar 07 2017

Having overcome the challenge of taking on one of the bigger clubs in this competition when beating Athletic Bilbao (4-3 aggregate) in the last round, APOEL will fancy their chances of going deep into the latter stages and, in facing Anderlecht here, appear to have every chance of doing so.

Anderlecht scraped through to the last-16 by the skin of their teeth thanks to a 90th minute goal away in St. Petersburg in the last round. Having beaten the rather lacklustre Russian outfit on home soil (2-0), the Belgians felt the pinch away from home and were pretty poor in conceding three goals.

The first-leg is often crucial in these two-legged ties and APOEL, given their form at the GSP Stadium, should be confident of putting themselves in a strong position ahead of their trip to Brussels, especially since Anderlecht have traveled poorly this season. With this in mind, ‘APOEL to Win’ and ‘APOEL to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ are the two bets that stand out.

It was thanks to a commanding performance on their own patch that APOEL overcame Bilbao (won 2-0) in the last round, and the Cypriot side are fancied to go well once again.

Under Danish manager Thomas Christiansen, APOEL have become a very tough nut to crack. This might not be all that impressive given that they’re one of the top clubs in Cyprus, but the fact that they’ve won all four of their home fixtures in the Europa League, conceding just one goal in the process, certainly is noteworthy. On top of this, Christiansen’s men have found the net at least twice in three of their four home matches in this competition, as well as scoring twice away at Bilbao in the first-leg of the last-32 – something that even the best teams in Spain often fail to do.

Scoring goals at the GSP is commonplace for APOEL and the hosts have now scored at least twice in 17 of their 21 competitive fixtures in front of a home crowd this season, including in five out of their seven European matches.

Anderlecht are certainly no mugs, but most of their best work is carried out at home and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that René Weiler’s side don’t travel so well, especially on the continent. The visitors have won just two of their six away matches in Europe this season and were soundly beaten on their trip to Russia in the last round.

Just as scoring goals is something of a regular occurrence for APOEL at home, conceding goals is the norm for Anderlecht on the road. Weiler’s side are yet to keep a clean sheet when playing away in Europe this season, conceding at least twice on three occasions. Aside from their exploits in this competition, the Belgians have struggled from a defensive point of view domestically of late, conceding at least twice in both of their last two away outings in the league.

Overall, this first-leg is an excellent opportunity for APOEL to put one foot into the last-eight and they are fancied to do just that by getting the better of an Anderlecht side who’ve failed to put their best foot forward away from home in Europe this season.

See more Europa League tips here.

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