FC Samtredia v Qarabag FK Betting Tips: Away side surprisingly well-priced

18:00/Jul 18

Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Champions League qualifier between FC Samtredia and Qarabag FK.

This Champions League tie is a bit of a dead rubber as the first leg ended in a 5-0 victory for Azerbaijani side Qarabag.

Samtredia won their first Georgian title since 1972 in their last season, however, things are not going quite to plan this time around as they currently sit third in the Erovnuli Liga and ten points off the top of the table going into the second half of the 2017 season.

Gia Tsetsadze’s men, as personified in that 5-0 thrashing by Qarabag, have been pretty poor in both boxes this campaign. Their Goals For record of just 25 in 18 matches is the worst inside the top four whilst their total of 20 Goals Against is the worst inside the top three. However, prior to that match against Qarabag, Samtredia had found the back of the net in their last ten outings in the Georgian league so perhaps there is a bit of hope for Tuesday night.

Home form has been a comfort blanket for the side from Western Georgia with no defeats in their last five on their own patch in all competitions. Additionally, in relation to this match, Samtredia will take hope from the fact that they beat an Azeri side, Gabala, at home in last season’s Europa League qualifiers.

Qarabag may have lost a few friendlies of late, however, in competitive matches, they have been sublime with five wins on the bounce and no defeats since 28th February. After a couple of years of making it to the Europa League group stage, Qarabag will be looking to go a step further and qualify for the more prestigious Champions League.

Getting on the scoresheet was not a problem towards the back end of last season with The Horsemen scoring over 1.5 goals in their final four matches of the season. They have managed to carry this goalscoring form into the new season with that 5-0 victory over Samtedia . The fact they also managed to not concede the away goal in that first leg will be very pleasing for Qarabag and makes them heavy favourites here.

With Qarabag arguably being the biggest club in Azerbaijan at the moment, it is no surprise that they do not lose many games on their travels in the league – one of their last ten. However, the gulf in class between the Azeri league and other European leagues comes into focus when you look at Qarabag’s away record in European competition which shows that they have only won one of their last nine European matches outside of Baku.

That European away form is obviously a bit of a question mark over Qarabag, however, they are clearly a better side than Samtredia and I expect them to do the business here. They are the favourites and I am very surprised that the price on a simple Qarabag win is as good as Evens.

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FC Samtredia v Qarabag FK
18.07.2017 18:00 BST
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