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Against All Odds: A Royal Winner

Once Prince William has finished handing out the brandy and cigars, I'm sure he'll be settling down for some Champions League action

The Champions League tie between Skenderbeu and Neftchi Baku is evenly poised at 0-0 after a goalless first leg and while the Azerbaijani's are odds-on to win in Albania, Paul Robinson thinks they can be opposed.

"The ‘Oil Workers’ have only won once away from Baku in seven attempts in the Champions League and that came way back in 2005."

Lay Neftchi Baku v Skenderbeu @ 1.9210/11 

So it finally happened then. After days of speculation and waiting, on Monday 22nd July 2013 I tipped up a loser. A run of four winners in a row was ended but I'm confident of bouncing back today. In other news, the Royal baby was born.

Skenderbeu managed to earn a surprise draw in the first leg in Azerbaijan and while they couldn't quite grab that vital away goal, they will still be hopeful of progressing through to the third qualifying round for the first time in their history. 

The reigning Albanian champions have been knocked out of this stage of the competition for the last two seasons and while they lost at home to APOEL in 2011, they did beat Debrecen 1-0 at Skënderbeu Stadium last term.

Neftchi Baku will have been disappointed to only draw at home last week but they will know that a win or a score draw will see them through to the next round. That latter fact plays a bit into the reasoning behind tonight's lay as if the scores are level going into the final phase of the game, Boyukagha Hajiyev's men aren't likely to push for a winner - especially if it's 1-1 or 2-2.

The 'Oil Workers' have only won once away from Baku in seven attempts in the Champions League and that came way back in 2005. Last year they drew 2-2 at Zestafoni before being hammered 4-0 at Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona. It's also worth noting that they haven't recorded a victory in any of their last three on the road - losing a couple of friendlies and drawing in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

There's no disputing the fact that Neftchi Baku are the more likely team to progress, but given that they can go through with a draw, I feel their odds-on quote in the match odds market is a little short. That's why, with their price trading around the 1.9210/11 mark, I have to make them my lay of the day.  

Recommended Bet
Lay Neftchi Baku v Skenderbeu @ 1.9210/11 

2013 P/L (1pt each bet)

Wagered: 202 pts
Returned: 200.38 pts
P/L – 1.62 pts (after commission)
(2012 P/L: + 9.60 pts)

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