Aron Wright - July 3, 2018
Trakai FK vs Cefn Druids AFC
UEFA Europa League Preliminary Round 2018/19
Date: Thursday, 5 July 2018
Kick-Off at 17:30 UK / 18:30 CET
Venue: Alytaus m. centrinis stadionas, Alytus.
Cefn Druids offered a surprisingly strong resistance seven days ago when they were on the brink of picking up a huge victory over the Lithuanian opposition at TNS’ Park Hall Stadium. They’ve put up a brave display which was rewarded with the opener from James Davies just three minutes after the restart.
Huw Griffiths’ side continued to threaten their rivals from counters and they held the one-goal cushion all up until the 86th minute when Donatas Kazlauskas brought the favourites back on level terms.
Trakai will thus head into the reverse fixture high on confidence, but they’ll need to offer a much better showing to avoid troubles against the underdogs.
The clash played seven days ago at TNS’s home, Park Hall Stadium, was the first ever head to head encounter between these rivals.
It was a rather close game which could have easily finished in the Cefn Druids’ win, but Lithuanians were lucky to bag the late leveller and gain advantage ahead of the rematch at Alytaus m. centrinis stadionas.
Trakai, who saw of St. Johnstone in both legs en route to the third qualifying round last year, were massive favourites to pass the preliminary round past the likes of Cefn Druids. They are in a much better position ahead of the second leg on their soil, but the Welsh outfit proved out to be in quite solid shape in spite of the fact their domestic season ended a month ago.
Lithuanians are in the midst of their league which is another advantage for them and anything but the home win should really represent a huge upset here. Trakai won five of last nine games in the competition, while their Welsh opponents are still looking for their first ever Europa League victory having previously fallen 5-0 on aggregate to Finnish MYPA in 2012.
To sum it all up, the home win looks like a banker at 1.44, while braver tipsters can try with Trakai to win by two or more goals at the odds of 2.15.
Trakai to win @ 1.44
Trakai -1.5 handicap @ 2.15.