Wisla Krakow will be hoping it is seventh time lucky when they take of APOEL Nicosia in the first leg of their Champions League play-off in Poland this evening.
The 13-times Polish top-flight champions have failed at the play-off stage in each of their last six Champions League campaigns but have pedigree in Europe’s elite club competition having reached the European Cup quarter-finals in 1979.
Wisla’s chances in this season’s play-offs are boosted by the fact they are not up against a big European name, with Barcelona their opponents in 2001-02 and 2008-09 and Real Madrid the competing team in 2004-05.
However, APOEL are similarly optimistic about their chances, with Kamil Kosowski, who has played for the two clubs during the course of his career, seeing evidence that both sides view this as a tie they can win.
In an interview with uefa.com, Kosowski said: “When Wisla were drawn against APOEL, I heard a lot of opinions in Poland that this was a very good draw, but I know from Cyprus that APOEL were also glad.”
This is reflected in bwin’s football betting market, with Krakow 9/10 to advance to the group stages and APOEL barely any different at 83/100.
However, Wisla are favourites to win the first leg in bwin’s 3Way football betting market at odds of 21/20, with a draw available at 9/4 and a win for APEOL at 47/20.
Reasons for this include the fact that Wisla have won all four of their Champions League qualification ties this season and lost just twice at home in the 2010-11 Ekstraklasa.
The Polish side are particularly potent after half-time, with 27 of their 43 league goals last season coming after the interval.
This trend has continued into this year’s Champions league, with 63 per cent of their goals coming after the interval.
With this in mind, punters could take advantage of odds of 23/10 on there to be more than 1.5 goals in the second half.
However, with APOEL also undefeated in the Champions League this year and having yet to conceded a goal, the best bet could be on a 0-0 draw at odds of 6/1.
A successful £25 free bet on Wisla and APOEL to draw 0-0, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £175.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Champions League odds.
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