St Joseph’s go into this evening’s second leg at home to Prishtina, knowing that a win or a goalless draw will see them through to the first qualifying round, and a money-spinning tie against Scottish side Rangers.
Photo © Black and Burst Photography
After securing an impressive 1-1 draw in Kosovo last week, Saints will have to fight tooth and nail to win a two-legged European tie for the first time in their history, and set up the clash against the runners-up in the Scottish Premiership.
The match, which kicks off at the earlier than usual time of 5:45pm, will be played in considerably warm conditions at the Victoria Stadium, which will see the first competitive game on its newly re-laid turf. The visitors, Prishtina, played here just over 12 months ago and drew 1-1 in Gib with Europa – a result that would see tonight’s game go to extra time and potentially penalties if needed.
Saints received criticism locally for starting zero locals in the tie in Kosovo last week – only bringing on Andrew Hernandez for the final few minutes of the encounter. However, with around €240,000 in prize money, plus the extra revenue gained from playing Rangers on the line, we expect manager Raul Procopio to pick what he believes is his best eleven tonight, which may see few to no locals start again – he may even start the same eleven that earned the credible draw last week if there are no injury concerns.
As for the visitors, they will be making at least one enforced change, with the club confirming Alban Shillova, who came off after 50 minutes last week, is out injured for about 10 days. Otherwise, it seems they too will start a largely similar team to last week as they aim to get the job done in Gib.
Despite home advantage and the away goal draw in Kosovo, St Joseph’s remain underdogs to qualify this evening, at 9/4 to progress to the next round compared to 1/3 for Prishtina. The 90 minute betting sees Saints as big as 17/4 to win, while a draw, which may or may not guarantee progression depending on the score, is 31/10 currently. – worth a potential bet as Saints and Prishtina have drawn their last six games combined in Europe.
Last year St Joseph’s drew 1-1 both home and away in Europe, and the correct score bet is 15/2, although the favourite in terms of score betting is a 1-0 Prishtina win at 7/1. The bookies largely can’t split the Both Teams To Score market, where you can get 5/6 on either yes or no.
*Prices correct as of 11:02 CEST 2nd July 2019.