NK Osijek take on Austria Vienna in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Play-Off round, with both sides confident of gaining an advantage to take into the reverse fixture.
Osijek have never made it through to the group stage of this competition but are performing above expectations so far. They eased past UE Santa Coloma in the first qualifying round, with a 6-0 aggregate win, but found it much tougher in the next round. After beating Luzern 2-0 in the first leg they were confident of going through but had to dig deep in the second leg, where they lost 2-1 but still went through by a single goal on aggregate.
In the third qualifying round, they were a huge outsider against Dutch side PSV but put in two resolute performances to win both legs 1-0 and advance to this stage for the first time. They have also won their last two domestic league games to make it six games unbeaten in all competition.
Austria Vienna have a decent pedigree when it comes to European competition, having made it through to the group stage of this competition in three consecutive seasons between 2009/10 and 2011/12. They also made it into the group stage of the Champions League in 2013/14 but their next appearance in Europe ended at the play-off round to Rosenborg last season.
This season, they scraped past AEL Limassol of Cyprus. After a goalless first leg at home, they had fortune on their side in the reverse fixture. Limassol were down to ten men after just 27 minutes, and Austria Vienna were awarded a penalty to give them the lead shortly after. They still found it difficult to end the tie, until a 90th minute goal gave them a 2-1 victory. In the league, they have only won one of their four matches and currently sit seventh of ten in the table.
Head to Head
This is the first competitive meeting between these sides.
Betting Odds and Predictions
The betting odds for this match indicate a close game, with Osijek a slight favourite at odds of 1/1 with Ladbrokes. Austria Vienna are priced at 27/10, and the draw looks extremely good value at 12/5. This is a tough match to call, as reflected in the betting odds, and we cannot pick a winner. In fact, we would recommend using the ‘Draw No Bet’ market but still aren’t fully confident of which team to back.
In this market, Osijek are 4/9 and Austria Vienna are 13/8. These are slightly lower odds than in the match result market but your stake is returned if the match ends in a draw. One prediction we do have is that it will be a hard-fought and low-scoring match, with neither side taking too many risks and possibly committing a costly error which leaves them at a disadvantage for the second leg.
For that reason, we think this game will have Under 2.5 Goals, which is priced at 3/5. Osijek haven’t conceded a goal in their three games in this competition so far, and are priced at 5/4 to keep a clean sheet. As previously said, this is going to be a close match and that makes it tough to find bets which we are confident will return a profit.
Top Betting Tip
The only bet for this match we have any confidence in is Under 2.5 Goals, so that’s our top tip at odds of 8/13 with Ladbrokes.