Burnley v Aberdeen Thursday, 7.45pm Live on BT Sport
Burnley were odds-on favourites to go to Aberdeen and claim a comfortable first-leg win last week, but it didn't go to plan for Sean Dyche and his boys north of the border. The Clarets found themselves behind to a 19th minute penalty struck by the boot of former Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven after James Tarkowski had fouled Sam Cosgrove. The Premier League side needed a Sam Vokes goal 10 minutes from time to get level and spare their blushes despite finishing with the lion's share of possession and 11 shots at goal.
A near miss but back at Turf Moor Burnley are expected to get the job done at the second time of asking with odds-makers chalking the locals up as hot favourites in both the match winner and to qualify markets. Dyche must plan for this second qualifying round without goalkeeper Nick Pope who suffered a dislocated shoulder at Pittodrie with no timescale put on his recovery. Pope could be joined on the sidelines by Robbie Brady who is said to be nursing a hamstring knock. Encouraging for the Scots.
Aberdeen must score at Turf Moor
Aberdeen had no right to be competitive in the first leg against a cash-rich opponent from one of European football's best divisions, but the players showed a togetherness and will to win that levelled the playing field at this early stage of the season. Part of a great week of results for Scottish teams in Europe, the reds fed off a passionate support from the stands, exploding out of the traps and with a bit more luck they could've doubled their advantage.
Thursday's trip to Lancashire marks the start of a crucial few days for Aberdeen who host Rangers on the opening day of the Scottish Premiership season on Sunday afternoon but captain Graeme Shinnie assured fans the team aren't looking beyond their midweek challenge. Speaking to the media on Monday, the 26-year-old local lad admitted conceding an away goal means they cannot afford to be defensive in the decider. Great news for neutrals.
Punters can't see past a strong home win
An away win looked the smart move last week, but we must give Aberdeen the credit they deserve for matching their opponents. They made a tremendous start and would've been disappointed to finish with a draw in a match that was there to be won. A similar all-action performance is needed but Derek McInnes and his boys have again been dismissed by traders who come down hard in support of Burnley.
1/3 is the price offered about a home win and although that'll prove popular in midweek accumulators, punters looking for a bit of value will be forced to dig deeper. Aberdeen are as big as 10.00 on the Betfair Exchange with a draw an eye-catching 5.30. Can they do it? The both teams to score market gives an option to those preferring to avoid calling the match winner, 6/5 yes - 8/13 no (Sportsbook).
Clarets expected to improve at home
Burnley left it late last Thursday but they did create plenty of goal scoring opportunitiesalong the way. It's still very early in the season for both sets of players but you've got to expect the home side to improve with 90 minutes under their belts and they'll surely be a little sharper in the final-third this time, especially with the backing of a home support.
With the favourites eager to pull rank and Aberdeen knowing they have to score to have any chance of going through to the next round we're expecting another enjoyable encounter. Over 2.5 goals is the call at 5/6 on the Sportsbook and we aim to profit from the indecision of traders who have under 2.5 at the same price.