I HAVEN'T picked the best of days to return to action with little value on tonight's Champions League qualifiers.

Friendlies are matches I refuse to bet on unless there are exceptional circumstances so I won't be staking too much tonight.

HJK Helsinki are a team I've been keeping an eye on with their next round opponents being Celtic and the Finns should be able to increase the 7-0 lead they carved out in the first leg against KR Reykjavik (8.15ko).

Helsinki are resting a couple of players for the trip to Iceland but should still be good enough to notch a win in what will be a dress rehearsal for a much tougher trip to Glasgow. At a best
11-10 with bet365, Betfred and Coral, the Finns look worth taking.

Elsewhere the favourites are extremely short-priced, such as 1-20 Salzburg v Dudelange, 1-10 Partizan Belgrade v Valletta and 1-7 Basel v Flora Tallinn.

So HJK will be my main single and I'm thinking about a small punt on a draw at Ekranas v Shamrock Rovers (6.0ko). The first leg ended 0-0 in Dublin and another low scorer is likely.

A second 0-0 draw will force extra time and possibly penalties while 1-1 will put the Irish through. The draw pays a biggest 9-4 at Coral while under 2.5 goals is 4-6 at bet365.


(11-10, various)

Ekranas v Shamrock Rovers draw
(9-4, Coral)


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