Champions League playoffs second leg preview 2017
With only one of last week’s ten ties ending with a blowout score line, there’s still everything to play for in the second leg of the Champions League playoffs.
Celtic managed to crush their Kazakh counterparts, FC Astana, 5-0, then six games ended with only one goal between the teams, two games ended 2-0, and one ended in a 0-0 draw. So, who looks to take a victory in the return legs?
Tuesday, August 22
The early game for the second legs this week is FC Astana hosting Celtic in Kazakhstan. Due to the Scottish team’s 5-0 buffer, they can afford to suffer a considerable loss, which is why Astana are 8/5 to win on the night.
Among the favoured teams, Napoli look to improve on their 2-0 lead over Nice when they travel to France, and Sevilla begin with a 2-1 lead at home having defeated Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey last week. Napoli and Sevilla are favourites to win their second leg games at 3/4 and 21/50, respectively.
As for the rest, despite leading 2-1 after the first leg, Hapoel Beer Sheva aren’t expected to defeat Maribor when they travel to Slovenia, with the home team at 6/4. Playing in Croatia, HNK Rijeka take on Olympiacos Piraeus with the Greeks already 2-1 up, but the bookies are finding it a hard game to call, with both teams at 33/20 to win.
Wednesday, August 23
Going back to Romania, the Steaua Bucuresti versus Sporting Lisbon tie is set to be a big one with the score at 1-1. The first leg was heated enough as it is – nine yellow cards and a red card – and now with everything to play for, you can bet that it will be a closely contested game. Sporting are 19/20 to leave with a victory but don’t count out FCSB at 14/5.
Another big tie on Wednesday night sees Liverpool return home to face Hoffenheim. The Premier League club haven’t seen their domestic season start too well, with a poor defensive display against Watford and a lucky win against Crystal Palace, but at 4/7, they’re expected to defeat their German foes in midweek.
CSKA Moscow want to cement their 1-0 lead over the Swiss club Young Boys when their matchup goes to Russia, and FC Copenhagen are at 4/6 to defeat Qarabag at home, despite losing 1-0 in the opening game of the Champions League playoffs round.
Last but not least, Apoel Nicosia, representing Cyprus, take a 2-0 lead to Czechia when they face Slavia Praha in the second leg, and yet the travelling side are 19/4 to win the game. With so few of the ties embedded in a full-blown conclusion, the second legs of the Champions League playoffs look to be great games.