Velez Sarsfield are the odds-on favourites to overcome LDU Quito in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last-16 clash in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The Argentines are priced at 57/100 by bwin to build a lead in front of their own fans, with the draw currently at 13/5 and the Ecuadorians rated as a 4/1 shot.
These two met in the group stages of the competition five years ago, with Velez securing a 3-1 away victory before being held 2-2 at the Jose Amalfitani.
At the back end of 2009, LDU Quito went one better by dumping their more illustrious opponents out of the Copa Sudamericana, registering an impressive 3-2 aggregate win.
They have already shown in this year’s Libertadores campaign that they do not fear Argentinian teams, having topped a group containing Independiente and Godoy Cruz, plus Uruguayan champions Penarol.
However, much of their success has been based on their superb home form, with visiting teams struggling to deal with the greater altitude in the Ecuadorian capital.
Indeed, LDU Quito won all three of their group matches at La Casa Blanca without even conceding a goal, but only managed to pick up one point on the road.
So from that perspective, favouritism for Velez is understandable, as they currently sit top of the Clausura after 11 games and boast attacking talents such as the diminutive Maximiliano Moralez.
They will surely go for the jugular with such a daunting second leg in prospect, so betting on them to be winning at half-time and full-time at odds of 3/2 could be a decent play.
It may also be worth noting in this context that five of their six group games – and all three at home – contained more than 2.5 goals. A repeat on this occasion is available at 91/100.
But punters looking to bet on an upset will also note that Velez are prone to the odd lapse on their own patch, as shown by a 4-3 loss to Universidad Catolica in the groups and a 3-2 reverse against lowly Quilmes in their last domestic fixture.
And with LDU Quito firing 12 goals in the group phase, there could be support for betting on both teams to score in the match at odds of 22/25.
Interestingly, half of those strikes by the Ecuadorians have come between the 46th and 60th minutes of their matches.
So perhaps backing them to grab the first goal of the second half at 27/10 may be a more tempting prospect among those looking for slightly longer-priced selections.
Football betting fans would see returns of £125 for a successful £10 stake on Velez to beat LDU Quito 3-1 at bwin.com.
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