Europa League qualifying continues this week, with some major names in the world of football entering the competition at this stage. There are certainly no bigger than AC Milan, with the Italian giants taking on Romanian minnows CS Universitatea Craiova at the Stadionul Municipal on Thursday evening.
Milan have invested heavily in their playing squad this summer, as their new owners look to help them return to the top of the Italian game, having gone without a Serie A title since 2011.
Milan will be among the favourites for this year’s Europa League, with an encounter with their Romanian opponents unlikely to cause them too many problems. With many punters expected to back Milan to come out on top on Thursday, our top betting tip could well provide a method of beating the bookmakers. First, let’s take a closer look at the two teams.
CS Universitatea Craiova
Craiova finished fourth in Liga 1 last season, and have made an unbeaten start to the league so far this season, as they hunt for a first Romanian title since 1991. With a playing squad dominated by home-grown talent, it is Captain Alexandru Băluță that will provide the main attacking threat for the home side.
The 23-year-old scored on his international debut for Romania earlier in the year, having impressed for Craiova over the past three years. Meanwhile, Brazilian midfielder Gustavo has experience of playing in Italy, and will be looking to make an impression against Milan.
Milan have spent £160 million this summer, with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu having moved to the San Siro to work under manager Vincenzo Montella. Having finished sixth in last season’s Serie A standings, I Rossoneri will be under pressure to perform this time around, with the likes of Juventus, Roma and Napoli having comfortably outperformed them over recent years.
Despite being the away team, Milan will be going all out for the win in Romania, having already registered a pre-season victory over Bayern Munich. However, with Milan still working their way up to full fitness, the home side will be looking to take advantage of any rustiness from Milan.
Top Betting Tip
This is somewhat of a David v’s Goliath battle, with Milan the firm favourites to take a victory back to the San Siro for the second leg. Although it may well be a tighter game than many are expecting, our top betting tip is to back AC Milan to win the match. This can be found at best odds of 1/4 with bookmakers Ladbrokes, which is certainly appealing given the strength of their squad nowadays.