The Europa League knockout rounds play-off return this week with the second legs of the ties. One of the most entertaining first-leg games was Sporting Braga hosting Qarabag, which ended 4-2 for the visitors.
The two meet again on Thursday in Azerbaijan for the second leg of the tie, with the hosts very much in control.A return to form for Qarabag
The first-leg victory ended a short two-game winless streak for Qarabag. However, it extended a run of high-scoring encounters for the home team, as their last seven competitive matches have produced over 2.5 goals.
The result surprised many, but maybe it shouldn’t have, as Qarabag are now three games unbeaten in the Europa League, having recorded back-to-back victories.
Their recent competitive games have been high-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five outings.
Qarabag have been relatively difficult to beat on home soil of late in the Europa League, as they have lost just once in their last nine home games.Braga back to winning ways at the weekend
The visitors recovered from the first-leg defeat by winning 2-1 against Farense in the Primeira Liga at the weekend. The victory ended a short two-game losing streak in all competitions.
The game produced another goal-filled encounter for Sporting Braga, as it was their third straight game to produce over 2.5 goals.
The first-leg defeat continued Braga’s recent poor form in the Europa League, which means that the Portuguese outfit has now won just once in their last five outings in the competition, having suffered three defeats in the poor run.
Artur Jorge’s team has also won just once in their last seven away games in the competition.What am I backing?
The first leg was a highly entertaining encounter, and I expect this to be a similar game. With that in mind, the bet I am backing is over 2.5 goals scored.