The play-off round for the Champions League gets underway on Tuesday and last season’s semi-finalists Ajax could find life tough in Cyprus when they take on APOEL in the first leg.
Dutch champions Ajax, who agonisingly missed out on a place in last season’s Champions League final, were given a real scare in the third round of qualifying when edging past Greek outfit PAOK 5-4 on aggregate.
Erik ten Hag’s men were relieved to have made it through to the play-off round and they head into Tuesday’s encounter on the back of a 4-1 thumping of VVV-Venlo at the weekend.
APOEL produced an impressive performance in the previous round when knocking out Qarabag 3-2 on aggregate and the Cypriot side have won three of their last four outings.
The last time these two teams met in Nicosia was back in September 2014 – the game ending 1-1 – and there looks to be good value in backing another draw in Tuesday’s encounter.
Another intriguing match takes place in Austria on Tuesday night when LASK play host to Brugge. The hosts, who play at the Linzer Stadion in UEFA competitions, thrashed Basel 5-2 on aggregate in the last round to reach this stage.
Valerien Ismael’s men are unbeaten from their four league matches this season, leaving them second in the table, while they haven’t lost a competitive game since May 12.
Belgian First Division leaders Brugge produced a solid performance to get past Dynamo Kyiv in the last round and they are on a seven-game unbeaten run heading into the contest.
LASK have kept just two clean sheets from their last six games while Brugge have managed only three shut-outs in the last 10 away Champions League matches, making both teams to score a solid bet.
On Wednesday, the standout game looks to be in Greece where Olympiakos take on Krasnodar. The hosts are no stranger to European competition and they were seriously impressive when beating Istanbul Basaksehir in the last round, keeping clean sheets in both legs.
The Greek giants have not lost a competitive home game since February – a 1-0 cup loss to Lamia – while they have won their last two Champions League games at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
However, Russian outfit Krasnodar are no slouches and they caused a huge upset when knocking Portuguese side Porto out in the previous stage on away goals.
The Bulls are on a three-game winning run while they are unbeaten in their last four outings on the road, winning three times and drawing once.
The only meeting between these two sides was a friendly back in July 2014, which Krasnodar ending up winning 2-0.
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