Pacos Ferreira v Tottenham Hotspur: New Territory in the Europa Conference League

tottenham hotspur

The new season got off to the best possible start with a 1-0 win over Champions Manchester City. If we are all honest, we might have admitted to approaching the new campaign with a little trepidation but Spurs got the Nuno era underway in impressive fashion.

On Thursday night, a whole new challenge awaits with our first ever game in the newly-formed Europa Conference League. Pacos Ferreira from Portugal are the opponents as we take a step into the unknown.

Team News

This will be interesting in a tournament that has the feeling of a development competition about it. The manager will want to take it seriously and he said as much in his post-match interview on Sunday but there will be scope for several changes.

Harry Kane is in the European squad but remains a doubt for well publicised reasons. Ryan Sessegnon has been sidelined with a hamstring problem but he’s back in training and could be available for the subs’ bench at least.

We also know that Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier are out of this squad and that there are no suspensions held over from last season. Among the changes in prospect, Nuno may well be considering first starts for Bryan Gil and Pierluigi Gollini.

Match Odds

Odds across all markets have been a little slow to come in as our opponents were involved in Portuguese league action on Monday night. They lost 3-0 away to Boavista and come into this game as the outside bet at odds of 4/1 with BetFred and GentingBet.

Victory for Spurs can be claimed at 3/5 with Unibet while the draw rounds things off at 16/5 with 10Bet and MansionBet.

Those are the numbers for the result on the night and we should have a second, To Qualify market for the result over two legs. That’s not in at the time of writing but should appear before kick off.

Pacos are an unknown quantity but those figures underline how this game should be going. We might have expected our win odds to be a little shorter but the bookies may be playing it safe based on questions over the strength of Tottenham’s team.

Side Markets

Giovani Lo Celso
Giovani Lo Celso

With those questions over team selection in mind, we cannot find anyone quoting individual goal scorer odds right now. We’re around 48 hours from kick off as I write this so it’s surprising that there’s nothing from our recommended bookies.

We might expect Harry Kane to start as favourite to open the scoring and it could be a game to offer match practise if he is in the ‘right frame of mind’. One player who looked especially sharp on Sunday was Lucas Moura and he could be an option for an anytime goal.

Giovani Lo Celso would have been our suggestion for a goal in 90 minutes. He’s more likely to start the game and has a reasonable record against this type of opposition. For now, however, we’ll have to move away from the individual markets.

Both Teams to Score is quoted for Thursday at best odds of Even Money with MansionBet and 10Bet. You can also get that same, Even Money price for voting no on BTTS.

From the start of pre-season, Pacos have scored eight goals in seven games against various standards of opposition. It’s a tough call but Spurs can have a tendency to concede away from home in early rounds of European competition.

Turning to Total Goals and best odds of 4/5 are currently available to go Over the 2.5 line. Games like these can have the capacity to produce more and we would certainly be interested in pushing to Over 3.5 which is quoted at 19/10 with 10Bet and RedZone.

That leaves us with some Correct Score suggestions and a neutral could find some interest in a 3-1 away win which is quoted at 21/2 with Unibet. Alternatively, if you believe that Spurs are in for a tough 90 minutes then you can claim the 2-2 draw at a top price of 16/1 with MansionBet and 10Bet.

Who Are They?

Pacos Ferreira v Tottenham Hotspur: New Territory in the Europa Conference League

Futebol Clube Paços de Ferreira, to give them their full title, were founded in 1950 after two former incarnations as Pacense and Vasco de Gama. They spent much of their early years in the lower divisions in Portugal before arriving in the top flight in the 1990s.

Subsequently, they first entered European competition when they took part in the UEFA Cup in 2006/07. All their honours come in the lower leagues and they have won the Portuguese second division on four separate occasions. Pacos qualified for the Europa Conference League by finishing fifth in the top flight last season.

Verdict

Nobody knows what to expect from this competition and, as always, much will depend on team selection in these early rounds and moving forward. However, those match odds suggest that we should be beating Pacos Ferreira no matter who starts on Thursday.

It will be interesting to see how we line up but we do know that certain players are missing from the European squad and that there should be a shake up.

As we mentioned, we would have been interested in taking Giovani Lo Celso for a goal in 90 minutes and we’ll be checking back before kick off to see if those markets are available. In the meantime, Over 3.5 goals looks to be one of the most plausible bets of the night. Both Teams to Score may carry a greater risk but a changed back line could offer our opponents chances to find the net.

Overall, we’re just hoping for a comfortable cushion ahead of the second leg but let’s look to these two bets to provide a profitable evening.

Best Bets:

  • Both Teams to Score at Even Money with MansionBet
  • Over 3.5 Goals at 19/10 with 10Bet

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