It took a while for both Heart of Midlothian and Aberdeen to get up-and-running against their respective Europa League opponents, but in the end both secured hard-fought victories.
Hearts relied on the ice-cool spot-kick skills of Prince Buaben in a 2-1 comeback win over Infonet Tallinn, while Aberdeen’s late show overcame Luxembourg side Fola Esch 3-1.
So, will the Dons and the Jam Tarts get the job done in Esch-sur-Alzette and Estonia respectively? Here’s our preview of those two crucial second legs.
Infonet Tallinn v Heart of Midlothian [Today 16:45]
Robbie Neilson’s men had to grind out their victory over Infonet, with the Estonian outfit currently midway through their domestic campaign and full of fitness.
That explains the fact Hearts took some time to adapt to the pace, but with the likes of Juanma, Buaben and new boy Conor Sammon now having game time under their belt again, the Tynecastle club should prove too strong for their opponents on the road.
With Infonet having failed to produce a single clean sheet in their last seven games, Hearts look the best selection in the match betting at 23/20 to win on the day.
However, the best value appears to be in backing Hearts to win with both teams to score (10/3). Four of the Maroons’ last five clashes have seen both sides hit the net, as have each of the Tallinn club’s last six fixtures.
CS Fola Esch v Aberdeen [Thursday 17:30]
While it took until second-half injury-time for Derek McInnes’ charges to turn a 1-1 draw into a 3-1 victory at Pittodrie, there was no doubt the dominant Dons deserved to win by a comfortable margin.
And we’re likely to see a similar story in Luxembourg tomorrow night, with Fola having conceded goals in the final 15 minutes in four of their last five games.
Aberdeen look likely to go through in style and you can back them at 1/2 to win again on the night, while it’s 10/3 they progress with a draw, and 5/1 for Fola to taste victory on the night.
However, the smart money could be on an in-play bet for a Dons win if the scores are level around the 70-minute mark, while another 3-1 victory for Aberdeen could prove very tempting at 10/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.