Home sides likely to prosper


There are sure to be plenty more tears, cheers, thrills and spills in Wednesday’s Champions League play-off ties with five evenly matchedties to be decided.

Liverpool’s clash with Hoffenheim is the highlight, with the Reds holding a 2-1 lead from last week’s clash in Germany. Anfield is sure to be rocking and as the 5/8 favourites, Liverpool look good to get a result.

Hoffenheim are no pushovers though and after freezing on their big night at the Rhein-Necker will be keen to make amends. 15/4 for an away win certainly tempts but Liverpool can usually be relied on at home and should progress.

Another team who also usually thrive in front of their fans is CSKA Moscow and they too will be confident of progressing to the group stages when they take on Young Boys.

The Army men lead 1-0 after the first leg and at 10/13, look good for a result, with the Swiss outfit a pricey 7/2.

Home wins could well be a theme and Copenhagen are unlikely to let themselves down against Karabakh. The Danes may trail 1-0 on aggregate but that scoreline is anything but daunting.

A victory for the Loverne on the night is 5/7, with a Copenhagenvictory by the required two or more they need to qualify is 33/20.

Slavia Prague can also succeed but a lack of firepower could lead to them struggling to overcome APOEL’s 2-0 aggregate lead. A Slavia win at 10/17 looks likely, and more positive punters eyeing the value might consider the 3/1 for them qualify.

Finally, Sporting Lisbon’s class should show against Steaua Bucharest despite being held to a 0-0 draw in the home leg. An away success on the night is 20/21, while the 1986 champions can be found at 3/1.