Funny names proved a fruitless formula for Europa League betting success last week, so we’ve resorted to the failsafe method of science to guide us onto the runway at Profitsville airport.
Our five selections this fine July Thursday make the cut based on how UEFA ranks the nation of which they’re representing in the latest coefficient tables.
Rest assured, the bwinners will be having a flutter at 49/1 safe in the knowledge that if (and, probably, when) the venture goes south, we can level the blame squarely at Michel Platini and his band of knuckleheads, who are of the opinion that England are the second strongest footballing faction on the continent.
Groningen to beat Aberdeen @ 8/5
The Dutch league stands as the ninth most prominent force in European soccer, outranking its Scottish equivalent by 14 places.
Winning each of their last five matches in this superior division means Groningen, the first transatlantic home of Luis Suarez, won’t be phased under the floodlights at Pittodrie.
Lech Poznan to beat JK Nomme Kalju @ 9/20
Estonian bigwigs they may be, but that should count for nothing against the founding fathers of Manchester City fans’ goal celebration of choice.
Only San Marino, Andorra and Gibraltar are worse off than 48th-place Estonia in the coefficient table, while Poland chart at an admirable 20th.
Hapoel Beer Sheva to beat RNK Split @ 9/5
With just four slots dividing 17th-place Israel and Croatia in 21st, this is set to be the tightest contest of the quintet.
The silver medallists from the superior sovereignty must be favoured against a side that scraped fourth last season by two goals.
FK Zeljeznicar to beat FK Metalurg Skopje @ 11/10
Unsurprisingly, Macedonia don’t rate very highly as a far as football forces go so the boys from Belgrade shouldn’t find this trip to the country’s capital overly vexing.
Esbjerg to beat Kayrat @ 13/10
Kazakhstan are scaling the coefficient ladder at a pace, but their 34th-place berth is largely owed to the exploits of sheep-sacrificing Shakhter Karagandy.
Kayrat’s continental excursions aren’t quite so high-profile, so side with Esbjerg, hailing from 19th-place Denmark, to emerge victorious.