Plzen vs. Academica: Europa League Betting Preview
Having won the Czech league two seasons ago Plzen contested the Champions League last term and performed with a great deal of credit.
Their foray into this competition ended in an agonising extra-time defeat to Schalke over two legs at the first hurdle of the knockout stage but they enjoyed the ride and will have gained a great deal of experience from trips to the San Siro and Camp Nou.
A third place finish domestically last term saw Plzen have to qualify this time around for the Europa League but they have done so in style, winning five of their six matches so far to comfortably reach the group stage.
With 18 wins from their previous 23 matches, Plzen are strongly fancied to beat an Academica side that are yet to win this season and there appears a sizeable gulf in class to me.
Having earned a place in this competition thanks to their Portuguese cup triumph, the visitors could only finish thirteenth in their domestic standings last term and it is just four wins in their previous 25 matches.
It has been four decades since Academica featured in Europe and, up against a team that has won ten of it’s previous 11 home matches, they face a sizeable task.
The 1.80 about a home win available in a couple of places is likely to come under severe pressure and it is easy to see why. I rate Plzen more like 1.50 shots and we are approaching maximum stake territory.
5pts Back Plzen (vs. Academica) @ 1.80 (Ladbrokes, Coral)
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