We turn our attention to European football this midweek with Champions League and Europa Conference League qualifiers taking centre stage on Wednesday night. We’ve picked out an accumulator for you to consider.
Tips – Wednesday 23 August 2023
- Galatasaray to beat Molde
- Aston Villa to beat Hibernian
- Braga to beat Panathinaikos
- Maccabi Haifa to beat Young Boys
Total odds of accumulator: 10/1
Galatasaray to beat Molde
Galatasaray now have one of Europe’s elite strikers on their books. Permanently. Mauro Icardi scored 23 goals in 26 games on loan last term, and the permanent move from PSG has seen the Turkish champions step up a level. He inspired them to their first league title since 2019 and now they are looking to assert themselves in European football once again.
Icardi is lethal in front of goal with three goals in four so far this season, and even taking into consideration Molde’s strong home form, they should be too strong for their hosts. Defence has been Galatasaray’s strength in recent weeks, and they’ve kept five clean sheets from their last five matches in all competitions. Okan Buruk, the man who won the title with Istanbul BB is now in charge and having led them back to the summit domestically, will want to make a mark on the continent. With Dries Mertens and Icardi both likely to start for the away side, you can expect them to cause chaos against Molde.
Aston Villa to beat Hibernian
A short-priced pick, and perhaps an obvious one, but the away win looks like an easy one to add to your acca here. Villa bounced back front heir heavy defeat to Newcastle United in style with a 4-0 success over Everton and all the signs here point to another win against weaker opposition.
Hibs have conceded goals on a regular basis already this term and they are yet to face a team with the depth and quality that this squad possesses. With European expert Unai Emery at the helm, their European journey could end with a trophy this season. But it all starts here, and they’ll be desperate to get off to a winning start.
Braga to beat Panathinaikos
The Portuguese giants have been entertaining, if not spectacular at the start of this new campaign. They lost their opening league game at home to Famalicao before beating Chaves 4-2 away from home. Both teams have scored in their last three games as Roger Schmidt tries to organise his defence.
This one should be an entertaining encounter as Panathinaikos shocked Marseille on penalties to reach this stage. The Greek side equalised through a 99th minute penalty, before winning via the shootout, and although they have already shocked one of Europe’s big clubs, travelling away to Braga will be tough. This should be an open game, but we are backing the home side to get the job done ahead of the second leg.
Maccabi Haifa to beat Young Boys
These two sides have never met before, yet given Maccabi Haifa’s exceptional home form at the Sammy Ofer Stadium, we can expect them to edge this tight encounter. They haven’t lost a competitive fixture at home since February, winning their last ten in a row, while that defeat came in extra-time.
They are so strong at home that teams can be blown away by their attacking talent, with Dean David in hot goalscoring form, having scored three in five in the UEFA Champions League this season. That should be enough to earn them a win against Young Boys, who have won two and drawn two of their four Swiss Super League games so far this term.