After a goalless tie in the first leg, Young Boys welcome Maccabi Haifa to Switzerland on Tuesday as the two sides compete for a place in the group stages of the Champions League.
Last week’s tie was a nerve-racking and largely dull encounter, with neither side able to create many chances.
The neutral will hope for more drama at Stadion Wankdorf, but it looks like we are in for another close battle in Switzerland.
Thanks to their superior home record, Young Boys are listed as the 8/11 favourites for Tuesday’s contest, while the draw is available at 5/2.
Maccabi Haifa, the reigning champions of Israel, are as big as 3/1 to win on the road, with Messay Dego’s side needing to pull off an upset this week.
Young Boys’ Ulisses Garcia will miss Tuesday’s second leg through injury and is not expected to return for another few weeks, so he may even miss the start of the group stages should his side progress.
Jean-Pierre Nsame started last week’s tie on the bench, but after scoring four goals this season, he may get the nod in attack.
Maccabi Haifa’s Basam Zaarua misses out due to suspension, while Sun Menahem will not be part of the travelling party due to a long-term injury.
Like Nsame, Dean David is in fine form of late, and his three goals in the Champions League qualifiers mean he will lead the line in midweek.
Young Boys to win @ 8/11
There are not many teams who have a better home record than Young Boys, and they tend to dominate matches in front of their own supporters.
The Swiss outfit last lost at home in August 2022, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Anderlecht. A defeat at Stadion Wankdorf would come as a major shock and that should lay the foundations for a win on Tuesday.
Young Boys have won six of their last nine European home matches and they will be full of confidence this week.
Under 2.5 goals @ 11/10
While it would be nice to say we expect a classic European encounter, all the signs point to a narrow home win.
Maccabi have failed to score in four of their last six away defeats in the Champions League and it is that form that continues to prevent them from qualifying.
Young Boys do not exactly dominate at this stage of the competition either, though, as under 2.5 goals has landed in three of their last four Champions League matches.
So much is riding on Tuesday’s tie and it may be a case of Young Boys’ fans dragging them through as they try to secure a memorable victory.