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Thursday Betting Tips

Karpaty Lviv v Galatasaray

Karpaty have won 5 consecutive home games in all competitions, although their Turkish opponents should prove a more dangerous threat. They would sit 5th in the league, but were deducted 9 points for their part in a match fixing scam.

Galatasaray travel to Ukraine without Harry Kewell, Elano and Sabri Pino. The first two in particular are important players for them. Their season has hardly started in spectacular fashion, losing away to Sivasspor and a home defeat against Bursaspor. Milan Baros is still short of fitness, and there are rumours that a bad result could spell the beginning of the end for Frank Rijkaard at the club.

Galatasaray have some decent players, but the loss of Elano and Kewell will be a major blow for them. Karpaty know that a draw would be enough to send them through, but they showed they can score against the Turkish side, so it would not be a surprise to see them try and grab a goal to secure their position.

Bet: Karpaty DNB @ 2.63

Final Result: Karpaty 1 - 1 Galatasaray (BET VOID)

FC Utrecht v Celtic

Utrecht have started fairly well in the Eredivisie, recording consecutive victories against Breda and Willem II, following an opening day defeat away to Feyernoord. They would have been disappointed with their performance in the first leg in Scotland, but a 2-0 deficit is not insurmountable. They are strong at home, having only lost 4 games from their last 30 in a run stretching back to April 2009. Striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has been in impressive form, scoring 8 goals in 8 games.

Celtic have had a good start to the season. Since a 3-0 defeat in Braga, they have won 4 straight games, including the return leg against the Portuguese side – a team that went on to win home and away against Sevilla. A 4-0 last time out against St. Mirren will be a good confidence boost.

This will be a close game, but Utrecht have to go out and attack to try and turn around the deficit from the first leg. There is a decent chance that if they are going to score, it will be from 21-year-old Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

Bet: Ricky van Wolfswinkel to score anytime @ 2.75

Final Result: Utrecht 4 - 0 Celtic (van Wolfswinkel x3) (BET WON)

Unirea Urziceni v Hajduk Split

This Unirea side is far removed from the side that impressed in the Champions League last season, beating Rangers and Sevilla, and drawing with Stuttgart. They now have serious financial problems at the club, with the coach and club president having left in recent weeks, as well as a number of key players. In the first leg, they simply looked disinterested losing 4-1. They are yet to record a win in the league this season following up four draws with four defeats. They picked up a draw last time out, scoring their first goal in five league games this season.

Hajduk Split have started well, taking 13 points from a possible 15, scoring 19 goals in the process. Their European campaign looked to be heading for an early conclusion, losing 3-1 to Dinamo Bucharest, but they bounced back to qualify with a 3-0 home win, and have continue in similar form.

Unirea are in major difficult at the moment, and with further players expected to quit the club after this game, it is only set to get worse. Hajduk are unlikely to come here with the intentions of scoring four more – they are already through, but they will not want to lose.

Bet: Hajduk Split DNB @ 2.15

Final Result: Unirea 1 - 1 Hajduk Split (BET VOID)

Aston Villa v Rapid Vienna

After an impressive 3-0 victory over West Ham, Villa came crashing back to earth with a 6-0 defeat to Newcastle. A truly abject performance, caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald seemed incapable of turning it around. However, the players will be looking for redemption here against the team that eliminated them at this stage last year. They drew 1-1 in the first leg with a virtual reserve side, but the likes of Carlos Cuellar, James Collins, Ashley Young, John Carew and Gabriel Agbonlahor should all return here in a strong Villa side.

Rapid Vienna have won 3 straight games in the league, so confidence should be high. However, the loss of key striker, Nikica Jelavic, in a bitter dispute that culminated in a transfer to Rangers, has weakened their attack, and they know that they have to score in Birmingham, which may leave them open at the back.

After the weekend result, Villa will be looking for a good performance to win over the fans, and the strong line-up suggests this will be the case. The loss of Jelavic is a huge blow for Rapid Vienna, even though he didn’t play in the first leg, he was key to the away goals victory last year.

Bet: Aston Villa -1.25AH @ 2.03 (BET LOST)

Final Result: Aston Villa 2 - 3 Rapid Vienna

Manchester City v FC Timisoara

Manchester City looked very impressive in a 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Monday night, and victory here against their Romanian opponents looks all but a foregone conclusion. They are expected to make 3 or 4 changes for this game, but considering this is likely to be the introduction of the likes of Adebayor, David Silva and Shawn Wright-Phillips, they should be too strong for their opponents.

Timisoara do not have the strongest defensive line, having conceded 3 goals at home to MyPa in the last round. They have won 3 of 8 games this season, but have drawn both their away games in the league so far.

Manchester City will be looking to send another statement of intent in this game, and they have quality both on the pitch and sitting on the bench. They will be too good for their Romanian opponents.

Bet: Manchester City -2.75AH @ 2.5
Bet: Manchester City to keep a clean sheet @ 1.67

Final Result: Manchester City 2 - 0 FC Timisoara (1 BET LOST, 1 BET WON)

Brondby v Sporting

Brondby got their tactics perfect in the first leg in Portugal, and recorded a very impressive 2-0 victory. They have only lost 1 of their 11 games so far this season, and are currently unbeaten in nine. Away from home, they have won 4 straight games, including a 3-1 victory against Nordsjaelland, who Sporting eliminated in the previous round.

Sporting have started the season very slowly. They sold Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho over the summer, bringing in Alberto Zapater, but they are struggling to replace the long-serving midfield duo. They lost their first league match away to Pacos, and needed a last minute winner to beat Maritimo. An unconvincing 3-1 aggregate victory against Danish opposition in the last round hardly helps to breed confidence.

In terms of sheer quality, Sporting are several levels above Brondby. However, they have started slowly, and looked relatively disinterested in the first leg, suggesting this competition is not particularly important to them. They need to attack and score at least two goals, but they have not looked impressive thus far.

Bet: Brondby DNB @ 2.4

Final Result: Brondby 0 - 3 Sporting (BET LOST)

Levski Sofia v AIK

Levski Sofia are a strong team at home. In four home games this season, they have won four, conceding 3 goals, but scoring an impressive 17. This includes a 5-2 victory against Swedish side Kalmar in the previous round. They played a conservative game in the first leg, drawing 0-0, but they should open up back in Bulgaria.

AIK are in all kinds of problems, being involved in a relegation battle in Sweden. Their major problem is scoring goals, having only scored 16 in 20 games this season, and having only scored 3 goals in their past 9 games. Away from home, they haven’t scored a goal in 8 games.

Levski dispatched fellow Swedish side Kalmar in the previous round, and should be favourites to do the same here. They will be aware of the risks of conceding an away goal, so should keep it tight at the back, whilst having the quality to score goals themselves.

Bet: Levski Sofia to win to nil @ 2.1

Final Result: Levski Sofia 2 - 1 AIK (BET LOST)

Trabzonspor v Liverpool

Trabzonspor have started the season well, winning the Turkish Super Cup 3-0 against champions Bursaspor, and following that up with league wins against Ankaragucu and Fenerbahce. A 1-0 defeat in Liverpool was a decent result, and gives them hope of progressing to the group stages. They have also been promised £20k each for qualification to provide added motivation.

Liverpool have travelled to Turkey without Gerrard, Torres, Agger, Maxi Rodriguez, Javier Mascherano and Milan Jovanovic. Their defence looks relatively solid with the likes of Reina, Carragher, Johnson and Skrtel all playing, but they seem to lack a creative and offensive threat.

Trabzonspor have an excellent opportunity to get a result here, and give themselves a chance of pulling off the shock and eliminating their illustrious rivals. Liverpool appear not to be taking this competition particularly seriously.

Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.69

Final Result: Trabzonspor 1 - 2 Liverpool (BET LOST)

Lokomotiv Moskva v Lausanne

Lokomotiv Moskva have been in poor form recently, having not won in 6 games since mid-July, including games against both the bottom 2. They lost the Moscow derby 3-0 to Dinamo Moskva at the weekend in a truly abysmal performance. A 1-1 draw in Switzerland has given them a decent chance of qualification after Sychev equalised Traore’s first half goal.

Lausanne are a second division side that qualified for this competition after a dream cup run last season, although it ended in a 6-0 final defeat to Basel. They are unbeaten in all competitions this season, with maximum points from their 5 league games, and draws away in Bosnia and Denmark so far in this tournament.

Lausanne have nothing to lose against a superior, but low confidence, opponent. They are unlikely to have played in games like this before, and may not again in the future, so they will give everything. Lokomotiv have been poor recently, but they know a 0-0 will take them through, so will look to keep things tight.

Bet: Lausanne +1.25AH @ 2.3

Final Result: Lokomotiv Moskva 1 - 1 Lausanne (BET WON)

Gent v Feyernoord

Gent were unlucky to lose the first leg 1-0 in Rotterdam. They were outclassed against Dinamo Kiev in the Champions League, but have overcome an unconvincing start to the season to sit fifth, with 9 points from 12. Gent rested a number of players in their last league game in preparation for this match and will be playing in front of a sell-out crowd tonight.

Feyernoord are a young, inexperienced side, and have been disappointing so far this season. Defeat against Excelsior in the derby and a draw with Heracles is hardly the form to worry their Belgian opponents. Vlaar and Wijnaldum are the only two quality players in this Dutch side, who will struggle to finish high in the league this season.

Feyernoord have been poor this season, and will have to play well to avoid defeat here. Gent are a decent side, but are prone to the odd collapse under pressure, which they will be hoping to avoid tonight.

Bet: Gent to win @ 2.28

Final Result: Gent 2 - 0 Feyernoord (BET WON)

England v Pakistan

England's batting has hardly been outstanding in this series so far, and in cloudy and damp conditions at Lords, there will be plenty on offer for bowlers. As a result, it is conceivable that England could only post a score of around 250 in their first innings. With the return of Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan have a more solid batting line-up and should get a decent enough total.

James Anderson was the standout bowler in the first test, and has continued to pick up wickets in this series. He will not be easy to face in the conditions, and is the most reliable of the English bowlers to pick up wickets.

Matt Prior has been in good form with the bat this series, hitting a century at Trent Bridge, and an impressive innings last test that helped England to recover to a decent first innings score. He enjoys playing at Lords, and few of the other specialist batsmen are in good form.

Bet: Pakistan +80.5 runs 1st innings lead @ 1.91
Bet: James Anderson top England bowler @ 3
Bet: E/W Matt Prior top England batsman @ 11 (1/5 1,2,3)
Bet: Mohammad Yousuf (+3.5 runs) to beat Kevin Pietersen @ 1.83 (BET WON)

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