Sutjeska Niksic vs Linfield Predictions

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Sutjeska Niksic

odds when tipped

odds when tipped

Tip Reasoning

Linfield are making impressive progress in the Europa League, but can David Healy’s side continue that? They have struggled to win big European ties over the years, but they’re through to the third qualifying round where they meet Sutjeska. Facing the Montenegro side is a chance for Linfield to record another success in Europe, but they will need to boost a mixed away record in order to do that. Will Linfield come out of their first leg trip with morale high or will they find European football tough once again?

The hosts don’t have much of a European legacy themselves, as they played their first continental tie in 2003 in the Intertoto Cup. The hosts are aiming to build on their recent Champions League exit, which is a fate Linfield also suffered. Sutjeska went out of Europe’s top competition after losing home and away to APOEL last month. Now they are dropping down to the Europa League, but that doesn’t mean there’s a significant gap between these two.

Linfield’s recent European campaigns have brought mixed returns, but they are getting a rare venture into the third round of qualifying this time around. They edged out HB Torshavn in the last round, which came after a Champions League loss to Rosenborg. Their defeat to the Norweigian champions was hardly a shock, but their improved displays home and away to Torshavn have given Healy’s men hope that they can kick on in Europe this term.

Linfield head into this clash as the outsiders, but they have now managed to go unbeaten across their last three Europa League clashes. They’ve pulled off three wins and two draws in their last eight Europa League trips, matches which saw the Blues take advantage of some less than stellar European names. They’ll be hoping to do the same to Sutjeska, who hardly come into this one with a great reputation.

The hosts have won only two of their 14 European matches to date. They haven’t really stepped it up much in the second-tier tournament, winning only one of their last eight. Overall, Sutjeska are without a win in their last 10 European ties. They come into this clash struggling to cut it against foreign teams. With Linfield seemingly on the up in Europe, we are backing them to come out of this first leg having avoided a defeat.

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