CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) casts his eye over Tuesday night’s Champions League first qualifying round second leg matches.
Levadia Tallinn v Crusaders | Tuesday 17:00
Well last week’s first leg matches were pretty awful to be honest. I was expecting goals as these minnows battled for a place in the same round as former European Cup winners Celtic and Steaua Bucharest but that just didn’t happen.
I was sweet on FC Santa Coloma and Levadia Tallinn but both ended up drawing 0-0 in poor matches. It was alarming to read that the Lincoln Red Imps had the better of the game against Coloma last week and it means I can’t get with them at odds of 8/15 on Tuesday.
I will stick with the latter side though as they left Northern Ireland with a creditable draw last week. Crusaders were the better side but I’ve no doubt the Estonian side will be happy to get back on home turf on level terms.
Levadia are 79 places higher in the UEFA club rankings than Crusaders and the dominant side in Estonia in recent years. Seven titles in the last 10 years, this is their 13th consecutive season in European football.
Highlights include knocking out FC Twente from the 2007 UEFA Cup and Wisla Krakow in the 2010 Champions League. Last season they drew at home with Sparta Prague in the second qualifying round.
It’s been seven years since Levadia were knocked out at this stage and when you contrast that with the fact that this is Crusaders’ first Champions League away game since 1997 then I’m willing to side with the home side.
Levadia are unbeaten in four home European matches and I think they’ll be too strong for Crusaders on Tuesday night. To get 10/11 with William Hill is a very reasonable price.
Levadia Tallinn v Crusaders – Levadia Tallinn to win (10/11 William Hill)