Czech side Viktoria Plzen have home advantage in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against FCSB, after the first leg ended in a 2-2 draw.
UEFA Champions League – Third Qualifying Round (2nd Leg)Wednesday 2nd August – 19:15 UK Time
Viktoria Plzen twice took the lead in the first leg but had to settle for two away goals in a 2-2 draw.
Last season, the Czech side got through this round on away goals against Qarabag, after drawing 1-1 away and 0-0 at home. A 0-0, or 1-1 draw here would be enough to see them reach the Play-Off round for a second consecutive season.
Leading into the first leg, they were on a run of three consecutive friendly defeats. They come into the second leg full of confidence, knowing they have two away goals and they started their domestic league campaign with a 4-0 victory just a few days ago.
Steaua Bucharest, or FCSB for short, come into this game knowing they need to score at least a couple of goals to stand a chance of advancing.
Last season, they too were knocked out at the Play-Off stage of this competition. They got through this stage with a 3-1 aggregate win over Sparta Prague, before getting beaten 6-0 over two legs by Manchester City.
They had a mixed pre-season, with two wins, two draws and one defeat before starting their domestic league campaign on 16th July. That campaign began with back to back victories, over Voluntari and Poli Timisoara, before the first leg of this tie.
Since the home draw last week, they have shared the spoils in a league match with CSU Craiova.
FCSB know what they need to do in this match, attack from the off but stay responsible at the back. Whether they can do it or not remains to be seen, although it should provide fans with an entertaining fixture.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Plzen are the favourites here, following their away draw last week and the superb start to their domestic season. Ladbrokes have them priced at 19/20, with FCSB at odds of 5/2. The draw is 9/4 and the result we think most likely.
In the handicap market, punters can get odds of 2/7 on Plzen winning with a +1 start, which may be low value odds but a high potential of profit.
With Plzen having two away goals and experience of picking up the low scoring home draw required to advance, we think the Czech side will play defensively and just try to prevent FCSB from scoring. That could lead to mistakes made by the away team, although it may also lead to a low scoring affair.
Therefore, backing Under 2.5 Goals at odds of 20/23, or Under 3.5 Goals at 1/3 are both solid betting options for this fixture.
With the expected backs-to-the-wall job from Plzen, it will be hard for FCSB to break through and find the goals required to make it through. With that in mind, betting on ‘NO’ to FCSB scoring 2 or more goals looks a banker at odds of 4/11.
Top Betting Tip
We have studied the markets available and there isn’t much potential for a big win on a game like this, unless you get extremely lucky. So, with just profit in mind, our top tip is Under 3.5 Goals at odds of 1/3 with Ladbrokes.