Bet of the Day

Football Bet of the Day: Back Dons to teach Swedes a lesson

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson
Barry Robson is lifting Aberdeen to new heights

After picking up an odds-against winner in Greece, Kevin Hatchard is taking us to Scotland for a fascinating Europa League qualifier.

Aberdeen v Häcken
Thursday 31 August, 19:45

We got a Belgian boost last night, as Antwerp secured a dramatic 2-1 win at AEK Athens in the Champions League qualifiers. That landed our Bet Builder, as we stayed under the 4.5 Goals line and got the corners we needed.

We'll switch our attention to the Europa League qualifiers now, because a revitalised Aberdeen are up against Swedish champions Häcken, and I believe the hosts can at least push things to extra time.

Barry Robson stepped up to take charge of the Dons earlier this year, after the disastrous reign of Jim Goodwin was brought to an end. The hapless Goodwin oversaw a Scottish Cup exit at junior side Darvel, a sixth-tier team. This was described by many as the worst result in Aberdeen's long history.

The Dandies lost the next game 6-0 at Hibs, and Robson was thrust into the role. Incredibly, he pushed the team up to third in the Scottish top flight, qualifying for the Europa League.

Robson has given the team structure, and his innovative coaching seems to have been a breath of fresh air. While the start to the league season has been modest (the team lost to Celtic and drew at St Mirren and Livingston), Aberdeen fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Häcken in the first leg of this tie, and they have a genuine chance of reaching the group stage of a major European competition, which is a rare event these days for Scottish clubs.

Häcken were surprise champions last season in Sweden, and their relative lack of European experience was shown up by their embarrassing Champions League exit to Faroese champions KI Klaksvik. Their title defence is still alive, as they are only four points behind the leaders Elfsborg after 21 rounds of the Allsvenskan season.

At the weekend, the Wasps lost 4-2 at modest IFK Goteborg team, and their away form in general is patchy. They have won just five of their last 12 away games in all competitions, and one of those was away to The New Saints in a European qualifier.

Aberdeen are the outsiders here, but I'll back them +0 and +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.824/5. If the game is drawn, we get a half-win, and an Aberdeen win gives us a full pay-out. Aberdeen have won seven of their last ten home games in all competitions.

Back Aberdeen +0 & +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at 1.824/5

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