Ed Malyon's Sure Thing: No scorers for Flora


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The Champions League is back, and while the teams preparing for qualifying matches may not exactly be household names, all are hoping to repeat the exploits of last year's surprise package, APOEL. The Cypriots found their way all the through to the knockout stages and played at the Bernabeu.

Irish side Shamrock Rovers fly to Lithuania to take on Ekranas, hoping to buck the horrendous away record that Irish teams have in Europe. Rovers haven't won in five games in all competitions, however, and have never scored an away goal in the Champions League. In front of a partisan crowd in Panevezys, the Lithuanians look a good bet to progress and we will back them DNB. They are going well at the top of the domestic league, with one defeat in 22 games and all their players will be at peak fitness. The price is 1.64 with seemingly very little danger of going south.

The best bet of the night lies at St. Jakob's Park, though. FC Basel beat Manchester United last season and thus you'd expect them to have a little too much for Estonians Flora Tallinn, especially at home. The 1.10 on offer for the win is not worth bothering with, but the best bet is surely on Flora not to score at 1.72.

In nine Champions League games, the Estonian champs have never won a game, and they've only managed to breach the opposition defence in three games (the last occasion being 2004). Basel won the away leg 2-0 and this one should be comfortable in front of their own fans for our bet of the day.

Other fancies include Zilina DNB, while you can expect Molde and HJK Helsinki to win.