Cork City v AEK Larnaca Betting Tips: Irish side not to be underestimated
Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs gives his predictions for Thursday’s Europa League qualifying match between Cork City and AEK Larnaca.
Having made it through the first round of qualifying in high-scoring fashion, Irish outfit Cork City are likely to be in bouyant mood ahead of this second round fixture. The Irish Premier Division leaders have been in strong form of late, especially at home, and could easily give their Cypriot opponents plenty to think about in this match.
AEK also came through the first round in convincing style (6-1) although their victory was perhaps less impressive since they were playing a side from Gibraltar. Despite commanding that tie, it is very surprising that the visitors are considered favourites ahead of this match. Having avoided defeat since August 2016, Cork are by no means an easy side to get the better of at Turner’s Cross and could easily be fancied to come out on top at 2/1. Having said that, the better option appears to be ‘Cork City Draw No Bet’ at 6/5.
Not only are John Caulfield’s team unbeaten at home in nearly a year, they’re very rarely denied victory. With 12 wins in their last 12 matches in front of a home crowd, Cork, who have the benefit of currently being involved in regular competitive action, know exactly how to get the job done on home soil. They’re capable of scoring goals – notched a total 33 goals in those 12 victories – and, having conceded just seven during that time, keeping six clean sheets in the process, are also no strangers to keeping things nice and tight at the back. It would be easy to say that the standard in the Irish Premier League isn’t the best, but is the standard in Cyprus a great deal better? After all, Cork, who’re currently 12 points clear at the top in Ireland (with two games in hand over their closest pursuers), aren’t exactly your ordinary Irish side.
In contrast to Cork at home, AEK Larnaca don’t exactly come into this fixture in scintillating form on the road. Even though they were 5-0 up on aggregate, a 1-1 draw away at Gibraltan side Lincoln isn’t the most encouraging result, while they also failed to win (drew 0-0) in a recent friendly against Polish side Zaglebie. They did end their domestic season in reasonable away-form as they claimed seven points from their final three matches on the road; however, in scoring just two goals in the process, they didn’t exactly set the world alight. What’s more, in 2017, they’ve only managed to win just five out of 15 away matches.
In all honesty, you wouldn’t hang you hat on either of these two winning this match, such is the nature of Europa League qualifying matches; however, the prices simply don’t add up. In front of their own fans, Cork look overpriced and are worth supporting with the insurance the the ‘Draw No Bet’ market provides.
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