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Champions League preview: Lyon and Twente set for success tonight

| 16.08.2011

Arsenal may be the only British side involved in the Champions League qualifying action, but tonight’s other ties provide plenty of opportunities for punters to make a very tidy profit.

Lyon v Rubin Kazan

The French side go into the match as favourites at 4/6, despite a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Ajaccio at the weekend, and are aiming to reach the Champions League group stage for the 12 consecutive season.

Rubin Kazan, at 9/2 , are half way through their season and currently lie in 4th place in the Russian League, but are remembered for holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in Russia during the group stages of last season’s competition.

They struggled away from home last season however, unable to score in their three group matches outside Russia leaving Lyon to win at 4/6 looking the strongest bet.

FC Twente v Benfica

Twente are slight favourites at 6/4 to win the first leg of the tie tonight, but with Benfica at 7/4 there really is very little to separate the sides.

Despite being away from home Benfica will be extremely confident going into this tie as the Portuguese side are unbeaten in their last 11 outings.

Twente have yet to concede a goal this season and Benfica have only ever won once away against Dutch opposition giving Twente a slight edge.

FC Copenhagen v Viktoria Plzen

Copenhagen go into this tie as favourites at 4/6 following their Champions League success last season which saw them become the first team from their country to make it to the last 16 of the competition.

The Czech Champions Viktoria Plzen have never made it through to the group stage and despite their impressive win against Rosenborg last time out we think at 9/2 it will be beyond them tonight.

BATE Borisov v Sturm Graz

Austrian side Sturm Graz may have enjoyed Champions League success a decade ago, but the recent European form for this one lies with Belarusian side BATE Borisov, as they are unbeaten in nine home European games and have not lost in European competition in their last six matches.

We’re backing them to continue that record at 5/6.



John Klee