Qarabag vs Bayer Leverkusen Prediction: Cards to take centre stage in Baku

 | March 06 | 

3 mins read

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Xabi Alonso is continuing to pull up trees at runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, but a stern challenge awaits in Azerbaijan on Thursday evening (KO, 17:45), as the Spaniard takes his side to face Qarabag in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie.

The pair last met a matter of months ago when the German outfit required a stoppage-time winner to take all three points on their way to a perfect points haul of 18 in Group H, where Qarabag finished in second place. Below we have given our Qarabag vs Bayer Leverkusen predictions and betting tips ahead of the clash at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium in Baku.

Qarabag vs Bayer Leverkusen Betting Tips

  • Draw or Bayer Leverkusen and under 2.5 goals @ 11/8
  • Over 47.5 booking points @ 6/5

Team News

The hosts are without suspended duo Julio Romao and Elvin Jafarguliyev, while defender Kevin Medina is still sidelined with a long-term injury.

There could be a familiar face in goal with former Leverkusen man Andrey Lunyov in line to face his old side.

Alonso has confirmed that ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Matej Kovar will line up in goal for both legs of this round of 16 tie, and there is a possibility of a start for Exequiel Palacios who has been described as "top fit" after returning to action on Sunday following a six-game injury layoff.

Arthur and the hero of the last meeting between these sides, Victor Boniface, are ruled out.

Amine Adli, Nathan Tella and Edmond Tapsoba are among those that could earn starts after appearing as substitutes at the weekend.

Match Odds

Qarabag are 15/2 to claim a shock victory on Thursday, with Bayer Leverkusen heavily fancied to win at 1/3. The draw is 9/2, both teams to score is 10/11 and over 2.5 goals is 8/13.

Draw or Bayer Leverkusen and under 2.5 goals @ 11/8

Leverkusen have scored a lot of goals this season, but they've generally saved their biggest wins for home games. They struck 19 times in the group stage of this competition, but only five of them came away from Germany. With one goal conceded across their three trips on the continent, their away games in Europe this season have averaged two goals.

Five of their last seven on the road have produced fewer than three goals while it required a 94th-minute penalty from Boniface to prevent the previous fixture between them and Qarabag from finishing goalless. I don't expect Leverkusen to lose in Baku, but a low-scoring draw or win could be the play with the return to come at fortress BayArena next week.

Draw or Bayer Leverkusen & under 2.5 goals vs Qarabag at 11-8

Over 47.5 booking points @ 6/5

This selection landed in both contests between these sides in the group stage. Leverkusen accrued 20 booking points at home as a result of yellows for Florian Wirtz and Robert Andrich, while Qarabag brought the game total to 50 booking points with a trio of their players going into the book.

Wirtz incurred the wrath of the referee again in the reverse fixture and was joined in his notebook by Granit Xhaka to match their 20 booking points tally of the first game. Qarabag were even more ill-disciplined as they racked up 50 booking points from five yellow cards.

With even more at stake for these sides, another big total could be seen on Thursday.

Over 47.5 booking points in Qarabag vs Bayer Leverkusen at 6-5

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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