Is something strange afoot in the Europa League tonight?
That long-awaited chance to cover Macedonian football is here!
It is not the most glamorous of the 35 Europa League blockbusters taking place this evening, but something about the relatively Brussels sprouts-and-cabbage tie between Rabotnicki and Anorthosis caught The Spoiler’s eye.
Rabotnicki, probably most famous on these shores for being one of the few teams that Roy Hodgson recorded a win over as Liverpool boss, won the first leg 2-0 away and are on a run of five straight victories in Europe, the last four without conceding.
Anorthosis, who nearly reached the last 16 of the Champions League three years ago under Temuri Ketsbaia, aren’t quite so special these days and will surely find it hard to bounce back having lost their last three continental away games to nil.
But what’s this? The Cypriot visitors are 1.67 – 4/6 for any fractional odds disciples – to turn that form book upside down (what a weird phrase – why would anyone do such a thing?) by triumphing and £169,799 of the £172,838 staked so far on Betfair has gone their way.
Surely a competition as prestigious and universally loved as the Europa League isn’t having its mighty reputation tarnished by funny business? But what if this leads to clubs not taking it seriously all of a sudden?
Not sure whether this adds to our shameless conspiracy theorising or detracts from it, however Anorthosis trailed 2-0 at home in a qualifier last year to Sibenik, only to progress away courtesy of a 3-0 after-extra-time success…