iBet: Laudrup’s Merry Men Should Have Too Much Quality For Romanians

Gareth Purnell

Europa League, Play Off Round

Swansea City V Petrolul Ploiesti, kick off 7.05pm

Match handicap, back Swansea -1 at even money (Betfair Sportsbook)

Swansea were put to the sword by Manchester United on Saturday, but manager Michael Laudrup will know that will be one of his team’s hardest matches of the season and tonight’s task should be altogether more straightforward. Swansea enjoyed a brilliant pre-season – at one stage they had scored 28 goals and conceded only one – and were buzzing with confidence.

In fact they didn’t play that badly at all against United, enjoying more possession (51%), winning more corners (seven to United’s four) and having more shots (17 to 15) than their opponents. They were just undone by world class finishing. I thought Michu looked especially sharp, but it was one of Laudrup’s new signings, Bony, who scored the home goal in a 4-1 defeat.

At the time of writing there is no team news but Laudrup played a strong side in their 4-0 home victory against Malmo in the last round (both Michu and Bony scored) and I would argue that this is an easier assignment. Petrolul Ploiesti beat Faroese outfit Vikingur in the first round and were expected to fall to Vitesse in the last round, but battled through thanks to a fine 2-1 win in Holland.

However, Swansea are an improving Premier League side and should simply have too much for the four-time Romanian champions. For big hitters the bet is surely simply to back Swansea at 1.4 with Betfair on the exchange. For a more working man’s price, take the even money with Betfair Sportsbook they win the game by two or more goals.


Spurs have a 2,000-mile round trip to Dinamo Tbilisi for a 5pm kick off and manager Andre Villas-Boas will probably rotate his squad. However, they have such squad depth these days that the bookies still go around 4/9 on that the Londoners win. It’s 11/2 a Tbilisi victory and 3/1 the draw; and if you fancy it will be one of those low-scoring European first leg ties, you can lay over 3.5 goals at 3.15 with Betfair.

Betfair gives you better value. To see how much more you can win go to

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