The first legs of the UEFA Champions League play-offs take place this week as teams from across the continent strive to make it into the lucrative group stages. Below we preview a key clash between Maccabi Haifa and BSC Young Boys, and pick out the value…

Maccabi Haifa vs Young Boys Betting Tips

  • BTTS Yes at 4/7
  • Maccabi Haifa to win and BTTS at 3/1

The Israeli champions reached the group stages of last year’s UEFA Champions League after beating Olympiacos, Apollon Limassol and Red Star Belgrade in the qualifying rounds. There they were placed in a tough group with Juventus, PSG and Benfica and finished bottom, however they did secure a famous 2-0 win over Juventus on home soil.

They are expected to go well again, having won the league by seven points last season. Their league campaign is yet to resume for the 2023/24 season and they have experienced a change over the summer as successful manager Barak Bakhar left for Red Star Belgrade, to be replaced by former youth coach Messay Dego. 

They have looked fairly decent so far in qualifying, beating Sheriff Tiraspol 4-2 on aggregate after extra-time and Slovan Bratislava 5-2. What they have proved is that they can score goals at will, but also they are slightly leaky at the back.

Meanwhile, BSC Young Boys are already four matches into their new league campaign in Switzerland, having won two and drawn two of their Swiss Super League games so far. Raphael Wicky has been in charge since 2022 and the last time they failed to score was back in May. 

They’ve hit five twice this season already and look like a genuine attacking threat in every game they play. It’s why both teams to score at 4/7 looks like the way to go, given what we’ve seen from both of these teams so far this season. If you want to push those odds further, over 3.5 goals is now 7/4, however it is worth considering that this is the first leg of a two-legged tie, and both sides may play with slightly more caution that they will in the second leg. 

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 go for the win. They haven’t lost a competitive fixture at home since February, and 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. 

With both teams comfortable at creating chances in the final third, but Maccabi Haifa boasting the marginally stronger squad, the home side to win and BTTS at 3/1 looks to be the way to go, as well as backing BTTS as a single. 

Maccibi Haifa vs Young Boys Odds

Heading into the game, the home side are considered the 5/4 favourites with us here at Betfred. You can back Young Boys at 9/5 and the draw at 23/10 as of the time of publication. The over/under 2.5 is priced up at 4/6 for the over with 11/10 for under and we reckon BTTS is likely, 4/7 for Yes and 5/4 for No.

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