Many of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League ties remain in the balance following the first leg but this tie between FC Sion of Switzerland and Suduva Marijampole has one clear favourite. The first leg, played in Lithuania last week caused a big shock as the home team, Marijampole came away with a convincing 3-0 victory. This leaves them as hot favourites to progress to the playoff round.
Sion last participated in the Europa League during the 2015/16 season and progressed from the group stages to the round of 32, only to go out to Braga. That is the furthest they have ever been in the competition. Marijampole are not newcomers to European football having been involved in the Europa League on 10 previous occasions. However, their best result to date has been reaching the third qualifying round this season.
The 3-0 defeat in the first leg of the tie came as a huge blow. Having conceded an early own goal, Sion failed to recover and conceded another goal just 6 minutes later. To add salt to the wound, Marijampole scored a third in the 90th minute.
Fortunately, Sion had a domestic league game at the weekend and won it 1-0, which will put them in a better frame of mind ahead of this second leg. It’s now 6 games without a win in the Europa League for Sion and they have won only 1 of their last 5 at home. Only once in their last 7 home Europa League games have Sion scored 3 goals and that was back in 2007.
Having tasted defeat in their domestic league the game before, Marijampole did well to bounce back to win the first leg 3-0. They are enjoying a decent domestic campaign, losing only 3 of 17 games played but find themselves well off the pace at the top of the table having picked up 7 draws.
In their 5 Europa League games this season, Marijampole have tasted just 1 defeat and that was 1-0 in the second leg of the previous round, having won the away leg 2-0. However, that win is 1 of only 2 in their previous 9 Europa League away games. Only 3 of their previous 17 away results in the Europa League would be bad enough to see them eliminated or take this tie into extra-time.
Sion need to score goals if they are to progress and are expected to start the match in an attacking formation. Expect to see Moussa Konate, Gregory Karlen and Adryan all start the match as the hosts look for goals. Marijampole will be tempted to set up defensively and hit Sion on the counter-attack. Karolis Laukzemis will be the key man, leading the line on his own and hoping to score the crucial away goal.
Top Betting Tips
Sion have no choice but to attack and try and score goals in this match, which should lead to quite an open game. There is no doubt Sion can win this game on home soil and the home win with over 2.5 goals is 9/10 at BetFred. If Marijampole are to avoid defeat, expect it to be by way of a goal scoring draw and the draw with both team scoring is 13/2 at Ladbrokes. With Sion looking for goals, this increases the chances of Marijampole scoring a goal themselves as the hosts leaves themselves open at the back. Marijampole are Evens to score a goal in this game.