Not everyone may be familiar with Russian side Rubin Kazan. On paper, many will favour Ligue 1 outfit Lyon to overcome their lesser-known opponents in the first leg of this Champions League qualifier.
The odds certainly seem to reflect this outlook and you can back Lyon to win the first leg in France at 3/5. However, it would be foolish to discount Rubin, who should be the fitter of the two sides considering they are midway through their domestic championship.
Rubin have arguably given European champions Barcelona some of their toughest matches in the last two seasons. The Russians stunned Pep Guardiola’s side in the 2009-10 Champions League group stage by winning 2-1 at the Nou Camp and securing a 0-0 draw at home.
Last year, the pair were matched up again in the league stages of Europe’s biggest competition and Rubin again frustrated Barcelona with a 1-1 home draw.
With this in mind, a draw at 13/5 or even an away win at 9/2 becomes all the more attractive. In fact, by joining bwin.com today and using your £25 free bet to back a Rubin win, you could pocket £137.50 if they pull off the upset.
On the other hand, despite being without a domestic title in the last three seasons, Lyon still have one of the most talented squads in European football. While the hosts will be without one of their biggest stars in playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, it would take a brave man to bet against striking sensation Lisandro Lopez not adding to his early-season tally.
The former Porto centre-forward has scored in each of Lyon’s opening two matches of the Ligue 1 campaign, including rescuing his side from a potentially embarrassing home defeat to Ajaccio at the weekend.
You can back Lopez to open the scoring on Tuesday evening at 4/1 or to simply score in the 90 minutes at 11/10. In terms of Rubin’s firepower, Birmingham City’s Carling Cup final hero Obafemi Martins is available at 7/1 to net the first goal.
With Rubin’s ability to frustrate and Lyon’s home advantage, there is also some value in betting on a 1-0 win for the hosts at 21/4.
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