After Reading, Everton and Aston Villa got their preparations for the new Premier League season underway on Saturday, Fulham will follow in their footsteps and play their first warm-up match against Danish side HB Koge today. Meanwhile, Celtic play their second friendly match of the summer against Stuttgarter Kickers as they work towards the first leg of their Champions League third qualification round tie on July 30th or August 1st.
HB Koge v Fulham
Fulham’s first friendly of the summer is against HB Koge, who play in Danish football’s second tier.
Although Koge are far from a household name, the Lilywhites have a great deal of experience playing against opposition from Europe’s minor leagues having competed in the Europa League qualifiers last season.
|Confederation Cup - Group A|
Their last campaign started away to NSI Runavik and ended in a 3-0 victory.
While there is not as much pressure to hit the ground running as there was this time last year, a similar result can be expected against Koge given the gulf in class between the two teams, even if Fulham’s players are likely to be a little rusty.
However, Fulham are priced at 11/25 to win this afternoon, with the draw at 29/10 and a Koge win at 21/4.
This means that it might be a better idea to bet on over 2.5 goals in the game at 18/25 than a win for the Cottagers.
Stuttgarter Kickers v Celtic
Celtic were underdogs heading into their first friendly of the season against FC Augsburg but are 17/20 favourites going into their match against Stuttgarter Kickers at 5pm. Bundesliga outfit Augsburg held the SPL champions to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday and were unlucky not to win, having created a number of golden opportunities against a sluggish Celtic side in the first 45 minutes.
Fraser Forster saved Celtic’s blushes with a string of impressive saves which drew praise from manager Neil Lennon, but the Hoops should have less trouble against a team in the third tier of German football. Stuttgarter Kickers are 13/5 to win the match, with the draw at 12/5.
Nevertheless, with Lennon admitting that the early games on his club’s friendly schedule will be primarily used to promote match fitness, Celtic are unlikely to be at their best.
With this in mind, betting on a match with under 2.5 goals looks to be better value at 21/20 than a Celtic win at 17/20.
Alternatively, new customers could use the free £20 bet they can get when they sign up for a bwin account to back at least one of the teams to fail to score at 6/5.
Celtic’s 0-0 draw with Augsburg means at least one team has failed to score in their last 11 friendly matches, with ten of these games featuring under 2.5 goals.
A successful £20 free bet on at least one team failing to score in the match is set to return £44.
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