Sunday, 26 June 2016


The 2016/17 football season officially kicks off this mid-week as the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League start. On Tuesday evening THE NEW SAINTS welcome San Marino side SP TRE PENNE who are the champions of the Campionato Sammarinese Di Calcio, they have played in European Competition in four previous seasons (twice in the Europa League and twice in the UEFA Champions League) with a record of eight losses in as many games, goal for 5 and goals against 35. All the other sides are involved in Europa League action as follows -

BALA TOWN travel to Swedish side AIK SOLNA with MBI LLANDUDNO travelling to another Swedish side IFC GOTEBURG, who famously won the UEFA Cup in 1982 and 1987.

GAP CONNAH'S QUAY welcome Norwegian side STABEAK FC who are managed by former Scottish International Billy McKinlay. This match is being played at Rhyl's Belle Vue Stadium

It's a historic moment for both GAP CONNAH'S QUAY and MBI LLAN DUDNO who are in European action for the first time ever.

The bookmakers don't give Llandudno much hope making them 15/1 to record a victory with a home win 1/10 and a draw rated at 15/2. Connah's Quay are 15/4 for the win with an away victory at 7/10 and a draw at 3/1. Bala Town are also outsiders at 14/1 with AIK at 2/13 and a draw at 6/1. TNS are 1/10 to win with SP Tre Penne an amazing 30/1 to record what would be a shock victory - it's 11/1 for them to nick a draw.

As always with the early European qualifying rounds there are many unknown teams in action. Gibraltar title winners LINCOLN RED IMPS travel to FC FLORA TALLIN in the UEFA Champions League. Another team from Gibraltar EUROPA FC (runner's up) are in Europa League action against PYUNIK from Armenia.

Could the Estonian side cause an upset in Edinburgh?
Scottish sides ABERDEEN and HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN are also in action against CS FOLA ESCH (from Luxembourg) and FC INFONET (another club from Tallin in Estonia). The Scottish sides are heavily odds on at 1/5 and 4/11 so even a £1 double will only give you a return of £1.64 if they both win. FC INFONET won 36-0 versus Amateur side Virtsu in a 2015/16 Estonian Cup Match whici did equal Arbroath's famous victory over Bon Accord in the Scottish Cup. HIBERNIAN enter the competion in the Second Qualifying Round stage.

Good luck to all teams involved. 

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