Kukesi vs Qarabag
UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Kick-Off at 18:00 UK / 19:00 CET
Venue: Stadiumi Loro Borici, Shkoder.
Qarabag should have an easier opponent in the second qualifying round after surviving a stern Olimpija Ljubljana test in the first hurdle. Azerbaijani champions are now to battle Albanian Kukesi in a tie which sees them as pretty clear favourites both on the evening and over two legs.
Kukesi’s head coach Armando Cungu will be hoping to see improvements in his team’s game from the opening round tie against Valletta.
Kukesi barely went past the Maltese outfit only thanks to the away goal rule after both matches ended without a winner (1-1 on aggregate).
Qarabag are at an entirely different level and we can hardly see the hosts even making this tie interesting.
You’ll probably recall that Qarabag featured the UCL group stage last year when they held the latter Europa League winners Atletico Madrid to draws on two occasions. They have a much greater European experience given that Kukesi have only featured four Champions League qualifiers so far.
The Albanians picked up just one win in the process, but it counted for little as Sheriff Tiraspol advanced from their tie last year.
Kukesi vs Qarabag: Head-to-head
The two sides did not have the chance to meet each other in the past.
Kukesi vs Qarabag: Prediction
The hosts will likely try and keep it a low-scoring contest knowing that Qarabag only bagged a single goal in the first round tie with Olimpija. They will hardly be in position to do much at the other end after scoring just once past Maltese opposition in the previous round.
The visitors play very tight at the back under Qurban Qurbanov. They conceded only 13 goals in 28 games in this term of Premyer Liga and they kept their net untouched in both ties with the Slovenian champions.
The main bet will be Qarabag to keep a clean sheet at the odds of 2.20, while the away win is an alternative pick at 1.90.
Kukesi vs Qarabag: Bet Tips
Qarabag to keep a clean sheet @ 2.20
Qarabag to win @ 1.90.