Aberdeen With Work to do in Bosnia
2017/18 UEFA Europa League qualifying has reached the second-round stage and teams are dreaming of making the group stages of the competition.
For the big clubs around Europe, the Europa League group stages may not be a massive draw but for teams like Siroki Brijeg and Aberdeen, to qualify for the groups would be a fantastic achievement. The money and the possibility of drawing some big names makes this a huge match for both clubs.
The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Scotland. The hosts, Aberdeen, took a 1-0 lead into half-time but failed to build on their advantage and Siroki Brijeg grabbed an equaliser and the all-important away goal midway through the second half.
Siroki Brijeg Form
Towards the end of their domestic campaign, Siroki Brijeg struggled to pick up wins and only recorded 3 wins from 10 matches in the Bosnian league and cup.
However, their home form is still very good and Siroki Brijeg have lost just 3 of their last 30 home competitive games, which is excellent and shows they are tough to beat at the Stadion Pecara. One of those 3 defeats was in the second leg of the cup final and it didn’t matter as Siroki Brijeg won it on penalties. In Europe, Siroki Brijeg have won 4 of their previous 15 home Europa League games.
The Dons travel to Bosnia knowing they need to score at least one goal to remain in the tie.
Aberdeen lost 4 of their last 15 competitive matches in Scotland but enjoyed a strong finish away from home last season. Derek McInnes’ team won their last 6 away matches, scoring an average of 3.66 goals per game and they will be keen to reproduce this form on Thursday night. Looking back over their recent history in the Europa League, Aberdeen have lost 9 of their previous 17 away games.
Croatian midfielder Ivan Baraban is injured for this match and will not feature in this game. Therefore, Denis Coric is likely to go with the same starting XI which did well in the first leg.
Aberdeen will be without Jayden Stockley as the forward continues to serve a suspension. Nicky Maynard will be pushing for a start in attack as Aberdeen look for goals in this game.
Top Betting Tips
Despite needing to score a goal, do not expect Aberdeen to throw men forward in the early stages of this game. There have been under 2.5 goals in 5 of Aberdeen’s last 6 European matches and the same could happen in this one. Under 2.5 goals is 8/15 with Ladbrokes.
With that in mind, if Aberdeen are to progress from this tie, they may need extra-time and penalties. For that to happen, the match would need to finish in a 1-1 draw, which is on offer at 5/1 with Ladbrokes.
However, given their advantage from the first leg with the away goal and their strong home record, Siroki Brijeg must be favourites to qualify and can be backed at 9/10 with Unibet.