Luzern vs HibernianUEFA Europa League Conference, KO: 19:45 Aug 17, 2023, Swissporarena
WITH one foot already in the Europa Conference League playoff round, Hibernian will be looking to finish the job when they travel to the Swissporarena for the second leg of their third round qualifier with Luzern on Thursday night.
The Hibees, who earned a 3-1 win over their Swiss opponents at Easter Road last Thursday, are on course to set up a glamour tie against one of the Premier League's biggest clubs in the shape of Aston Villa.
While Lee Johnson's side will have been buoyed by their showing in last week's first leg, they were brought back down to earth with a bump when losing 2-1 at Motherwell on Sunday, in a game which brought up both of my recommended bets.
That Fir Park setback typified the Jekyll and Hyde performances of Hibs in recent weeks, so nothing can be taken for granted in Thursday's second leg in Lucerne.
Mario Frick's men warmed up for this week's return match by losing a late goal in a 1-1 draw with reigning Swiss Super League champions Young Boys on Sunday.
Back on home turf this midweek, and with a two-goal deficit to overturn, Luzern will have to force the issue if they are to stage a comeback and progress at the expense of their Edinburgh guests.
Despite losing 3-1 in last week's first leg, Luzern go into this week's second leg as odds-on 4/6 favourites with Bet 365.
Here, I think Luzern are if anything a tad short, but backing the home team to deliver Over 1.5 goals will bring about a backable 4/5 (William Hill) shot.
As already mentioned, Luzern will have to go hell for leather if they are to drag themselves back into this tie and they are certainly capable of carving out scoring opportunities against a Hibs side that have been hot and cold at best under Lee Johnson's guidance.
While Hibs have offered plenty going forward during the opening weeks of the season, they've also shown a soft under-belly, conceding in each of their five competitive contests this term to date.
What's more, the Leith outfit have leaked a minimum of two goals in three of those five matches, which doesn't augur well given that their Swiss hosts will surely throw the kitchen sink at this.
Mario Frick's side can also take confidence from the fact that they have scored in each of their last six matches and they will know that getting the opening goal here would change the complexion of the tie massively.
With all of that in mind, backing Luzern to strike at least twice on Thursday night looks worth getting onboard with at 4/5 with William Hill.
Given that goals are usually on the agenda when Hibs are involved, I'll also side with Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6 with William Hill
The Over 2.5 goal barrier has been breached across each of Hibs' five fixtures at home and abroad this term, highlighting the appeal to support a high-scoring shootout at the Swissporarena.
This UEFA Europa League Conference match between Luzern and Hibernian will be played on Aug 17, 2023 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Luzern vs Hibernian prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.