PAOK can upset the Champions League odds again


We’ve reached the final qualifying round in the Champions League, with a number of European regulars facing the prospect of missing out on the group stages.

We take a look at the three best bets ahead of Tuesday and Wednesday’s first leg fixtures….

PAOK Double Chance @ 31/20

PAOK Saloniki have already disposed of frequent Champions League qualifiers Basel and Spartak Moscow en-route to this stage, with Benfica now standing between them and the lucrative group stages.

The Greek side (49/20 to qualify) look to have the better of the draw, with the first leg in Portugal, before they return to Stadio Toumbas, which has been a fortress in recent teams – with just two competitive home defeats in a year for PAOK.

Coach Rzvan Lucescu has seen his side keen clean sheets in Switzerland and Russia in the last two rounds and they are capable of frustrating Benfica at the Estadio da Luz.

For a team that historically are very good at home, Benfica’s recent European home record is poor – with four defeats in their last six CL games.

BATE v PSV – Both Teams To Score @ 10/11

Borisov is the venue for BATE v PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, in a tie that on paper looks likely to be a tight affair.

The hosts have beaten HJK Helsinki and Qarabag to reach this stage, while PSV are only just entering the competition after winning the Dutch title last term.

BATE (59/20 to win on Tuesday) drew the home legs in the previous two rounds and have lost just twice at home since October, but PSV will provide a sterner test.

Eindhoven, managed these days by Mark van Bommel, have already played two league games this season – scoring a total of six goals in wins over Utrecht and PEC Zwolle – and they can grab a crucial away goal ahead of the second league in the Netherlands.

Dinamo Zagreb to win first leg @ 7/2

The price is very tempting for Dinamo Zagreb to win away at Young Boys, especially with the away performances they have already put in during the previous two rounds.

The Croatian side scored two goals in a draw at Hapoel Be’er Sheva and two in a 2-0 win at Astana and look capable of springing a surprise on Wednesday in Switzerland.

In Mario Gavranovic, a Swiss international, Dinamo have a player that could make the difference and he is 11/5 to score at anytime in the first leg.

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