Villarreal are strongly fancied to beat last season’s Danish runners-up Odense in the away leg of their Champions League play-off tonight.
Even with the losses of Santi Cazorla and Joan Capdevilla in the summer, the Yellow Submarines go into the tie as 3/4 favourites.
Colombian defender Cristian Zapata looks set for his first competitive start but it will undoubtedly be Italian international Giuseppe Rossi who will be the player to watch.
The American-born former Man Utd striker struck 17 times in La Liga last year and with the added firepower of Nilmar, who grabbed 11 goals, progression to the Champions League looks almost certain.
Rossi is 4/1 to open the scoring, with Nilmar priced at 5/1 in the same football betting market.
If Odense are to get anything from tonight’s game they must put in a battling performance like the one they put in against Panathinaikos in the last qualifying round, which saw them scrape through with a 3-4 away leg victory.
Buoyed by the weekend’s 2-2 draw away to champions Copenhagen in the season opener, they come into this difficult tie 7/2 to win, with a draw at 13/5.
It is new territory for the Danish club who are looking to get into the Champions League for the very first time.
It would be an achievement and a half to make it through but their exit at this stage looks more than likely.
Last season they endured a horrendous Europa League campaign, coming bottom of their group and winning just one of their six matches.
Juan Carlos Garrido’s Villarreal, who finished fourth in La Liga last term, have met tonight’s opponents over two legs before.
The Spaniards convincingly beat Odense in both legs, winning 5-0 on aggregate in the now defunct Intertoto Cup back in 2004.
With this in mind, betting on Villarreal to win to nil makes sense at odds of 9/5.
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