Birmingham make their first excursion into Europe for 40 years this evening but face a tough challenge against a strong Nacional de Madeira team who are 39/50 favourites for the win.
The Blues have been heavily depleted following their relegation, while Nacional finished 6th in Portugal’s Primeira Liga last season.
The Madeira side come into the game having spurned many chances on the way to a 0-0 draw with recently promoted Feirense, who played half-an-hour with only ten men. Birmingham defeated Coventry 1-0 in their final game before this tie.
Both of those results point to a tight game so a bet on the game containing fewer than 1.5 goals at 39/20 could be profitable.
Birmingham are missing their three main strikers so questions will be asked of where their goals will come from.
It is unlikely that they will get off the mark out in Funchal so a score prediction of 1-0 (6/1) or 2-0 (29/4) to the home side will be the value bets of the tie.
Punters who place their £25 free bet for joining bwin on a 2-0 scoreline could win £206.25 if it comes in.
However, Birmingham manager Chris Hughton has said that his side are not in Europe just for a ride and will be looking to progress into the group stages.
A draw or narrow defeat tonight could help them get closer to that aim and if they can manage that then the 5/4 on Birmingham advancing will surely come in.
Hughton will be looking to keep it tight at the back and nick an away goal on the counter attack so if you feel this game plan could work, Birmingham are on offer at 13/4 to win the game. The most likely score should Birmingham win will be 0-1 and that is offered at 10/1.
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Europa League qualifier odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting