Macedonian side KF Shkendija welcome AC Milan to the Ecolog Arena on Thursday evening, with a place in the Europa League Group stages up for grabs. The Italian giants hold a 6-0 lead from the first leg, with the home side facing mission impossible to make it through to the next stage of the competition.
UEFA Europa League First playoff round – Thursday 24 August, 19:45
Best Odd of: 6 at Betway
Best Odd of: 9/2 at Betfred
Best Odd of: 1/4 at Ladbrokes
KF Shkendija Team News
Despite making a fantastic start to the new First League campaign in Macedonia, an encounter with AC Milan at the San Siro was seemingly a step to far, with Qatip Osmani’s men coming out on the wrong end of a 6-0 thrashing. However, having bounced back with a 3-0 away win at Shkupi on Monday evening, the home side will be hoping to produce a much more accomplished performance in front of their home support. The emphasis will once again be on captain Ferhan Hasani, with the former Wolfsburg and Bronby man being KF Shkendija’s most creative player in attack. Meanwhile, Besart Ibraimi will be looking to improve upon his incredible goal record since his arrival at the club, with the 30-year-old having scored 50 goals in 70 games to date.
AC Milan Team News
AC Milan have undoubtedly been one of the biggest stories at this early stage of the season, with Vincenzo Montella’s men having won made a fantastic start to the season thanks to the help of their various summer recruits. Given their dominance on the scoreboard from the first leg, Montella may well choose to rest a number of key players in Macedonia, offering some of his fringe and young players a chance to impress.
However, having scored two goals at the San Siro against Shkendija, Portuguese striker Andre Silva may well keep his place in attack. Meanwhile, former Sunderland man Fabio Borini, as well as Manuel Locatelli and Jose Sosa, could well line-up for the away side. Milan will also be hoping to keep another clean sheet, with the influence of new signing Leonardo Bonucci having seemingly already made an impact.
Head to Head
Last week’s meeting between the two sides was the first in history, meaning that there is not much to go out when it comes to looking at patterns or form. However, given Milan’s dominance over the opponents, it is safe to say that they will be the overwhelming favourites to pick up another victory, despite being the away side.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Taking all of this into account, as well as the various betting markets that are provided by various bookmakers, the following predictions and odds are well worth considering in the build-up to kick-off on Thursday. Despite Milan having dominated the first leg, they are still offered fairly attractive odds of registering another victory, with William Hill providing customers odds of 2/7.
Elsewhere, given the fact that they found the back of the net on six occasions last time around, backing there being over 2.5 goals this time around will also potentially be lucrative. Ladbrokes offer odds of 19/40 for this market.
Finally, while backing both teams to score is often a market utilised by betting customers, another tip is to back Milan to keep a clean sheet, which can be found at odds of 1/1 at Ladbrokes.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for this match is to back Milan to win both the first and second half of the match, which can be found at best odds of 4/5 at Ladbrokes.