This Thursday sees the start of the UEFA Europa League group stages and the first meeting between Dinamo Kiev and Stoke City.
The Potters have already played four games in Europe, with a 2-0 aggregate win over Hajduk Split followed up by a 5-1 triumph against Swiss side FC Thun over two legs.
Kiev have also played four games, but their first two were in the second round of qualifying for the Champions League, where they were beaten by Russian outfit Rubin Kazan 4-1 on aggregate.
They subsequently dropped down to the Europa League, where they beat Litex 3-1 over two games to secure their passage into the main draw.
Both teams come into the game after victories at the weekend, with Stoke beating Liverpool 1-0 and Kiev winning 3-1 against Illychivets.
Potters boss Tony Pulis has suggested that he will rotate his squad and rest some of his players with games against Sunderland, Tottenham and Manchester United coming up in quick succession.
With this in mind, and with Kiev’s Andriy Yarmolenko and Ideye Brown on fire with five goals apiece this season, I suggest backing the hosts to score three goals or more at 333/100.
A free £25 bet, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, on this particular selection would return £108.25 if the Ukrainians manage to net on at least three occasions.
A similar bet could be the double of Dinamo Kiev to win and over 3.5 goals to be scored in the game, which appears tempting at odds of 5/1.
Home advantage means that Kiev are valued at 3/4 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market to start the group stage with three points, whereas the draw is priced at 5/2 and the unfancied Stoke are given odds of 15/4.
The Potters have conceded just the one goal in the league so far, so an alternative bet could be for them to hold out until half-time before being outgunned in the second half – this eventuality is priced at 18/5 in the half-time/full-time market.
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