Birkirkara v Hearts Betting Preview
Location: Hibernians Stadium
Date: 14th July 2016
Live on BT Sport Extra
Birkirkara is a name that should be somewhat familiar to fans in this part of the world.
The Maltese side took West Ham to the brink in the Europa League qualifiers last season. They eventually lost out on penalties after a 1-0 win in the home leg. But that West Ham side featured just three players who played in their 3-2 victory over Manchester Utd at the end of last season.
Consequently we should not put too much import on that result, impressive as it may have been. Even that impressive win has failed to lift the Maltese coefficient above the Faroe Islands. That is likely to be a much better measure of their standard.
Although they did knock out a Bosnian side in the first round this season. That was no mean feat and the trouble Aberdeen had in overcoming a Luxembourg side shows us that Hearts can’t take anything for granted.
The Jam Tarts should be expected to win this a tie, none the less. Especially if they can replicate the start they made in the away leg against FC Infonet. Two early goals would effectively put this tie to bed so long as Hearts can improve on their defensive fragility.
They conceded three goals over the two legs in the first qualifying round. While the last two came after the tie was effectively sealed it will leave a nagging doubt in the Jambos’ minds. Particularly as their strikers are yet to start firing.
None of their six goals from the previous round came from a forward player. All four goals in the last leg came from defenders and set pieces. That is a good threat to have but Hearts fans will be anxious to see the likes of Conor Sammon finding his feet sooner rather than later.
Their continued Europa League participation may just depend on it.
Birkirkara v Hearts Betting Preview Best Betting Odds
Hearts are odds on favourites for this leg with a best price of 1.75 (3/4) from Bwin. You can get as high as 4/1 from McBookie for a Birkirkara victory. Betfair offer the best price on a draw of 3.7 (27/10).
The preferred option in this game could be to back goals. You can get up to 1.7 (7/10) for both teams to score from McBookie. Although with first legs often tight affairs that seems a little short.
The best price for +2.5 goals is 1.75 (3/4) from bet365. Unders backers can get 2.15 (23/20) from Betfair.
Birkirkara v Hearts Betting Preview Free Football Tips & Betting Tips