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Hibernians v RB Salzburg – how will Malta’s champions get on?
The champions of Malta and Austria meet on Tuesday night, with both seeking a place in the Champions League group stage. After a dispute regarding their relationship with sister club RB Leipzig, the Austrian Bundesliga champions have been cleared to play in the competition and they will expect to have too much quality when they play in the Mediterranean.
Salzburg won 25 of their 36 matches on their way to their way to a fourth successive title. They are playing an equally successful opponent; Hibernians have won two of the past three Maltese titles and 12 altogether. At this stage two years ago, Hibs were eliminated by Maccabi Tel Aviv 6-3 over two legs, though scoring three times shows their danger to more established UEFA sides. Last year, they were hammered 6-0 by Slovakian side Spartak Trnava in Europa League qualification and so missed out on any non-domestic football.
In contrast, Red Bull were extremely unfortunate not to make it out of the group stage in the Europa League in what was a very tricky group. It included Schalke, Krasnodar and Nice; the Austrians missed out having scored fewer goals than the Russians, though they still finished ahead of the disappointing Nice, who seemed to leave all their good form to Ligue 1 matches, where they finished third.
Tipbet is a complete football betting hub for all major competitions, and the Champions League 2017/2018 is already full of odds markets. Real Madrid, having become the first side to claim back-to-back trophies in the competition’s current format, are ranked as second favourites behind their El Clasico rivals Barcelona in the season bets.
For this qualifier, Salzburg are, unsurprisingly, rated as major favourites to win in Malta. They are 1.20 to take back a lead, though any result in which they score an away goal – both teams to find the net is 2.00 – would make them major favourites. The home side, meanwhile are at 12.00; if they were to advance, it would represent one of the great qualifying giant-killings.
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