Maribor and Hammarby will cross swords on Thursday, July 29, in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers. Hammarby won the reverse fixture 3-1 and now only need to keep Maribor at bay, but achieving that at Ljudski Vrt might be easier said than done.
Maribor vs Hammarby
When: Thursday, July 29 – 20:45 CEST
Where: Ljudski Vrt in Maribor, Slovenia
Weather: Clear, 24°C
Referee: José Munuera (SPA)
It’s the second leg of the Maribor vs Hammarby doubleheader. The first game finished 3-1 in favor of the Swedish team.
It’s now up to the Slovenes to grab a win on their home soil. Although they did manage to score once in Stockholm, the away goal rule is no longer in force, meaning that if the aggregate score is tied after 90 minutes, the match will go to extra time.
Maribor need to win this evening by no less than two goals, which might be a lot to ask; however, the hosts are known for very efficient goalscorers. They have managed at least one goal in each of their outings since May 9 and will now look to showcase their goal-scoring ability against the formidable Swedish outfit.
High-Scoring Maribor Hopeful of a Big Win
Maribor need to score at least twice tonight if they wish to advance into the next stage of the tournament. Such a scenario doesn’t seem implausible for several reasons. First of all, Maribor are playing at home, where they have scored at least once in all of their previous 11 outings across all competitions.
Another fact going in Maribor’s favor is that this team has started the new season of the Slovenian Prva Liga in a goal-scoring mood. In the two games they’ve played so far, they have scored a total of six goals, which put them at the top of the table.
That said, Maribor haven’t been as impressive at the back as they’ve been in the final third. In the Slovenian top-tier, they’ve already conceded three goals in two matches.
Their defence has been their Achilles’ heel for a while now. Last season, Maribor allowed a total of 41 goals in the 36 domestic-season games, which averages at more than 1.13 goals per game.
In-Form Hammarby to Rely on Counter-Attacks
Hammarby travel to Slovenia looking for their fifth win in a row. However, even if they come up short and fail to grab a W at Ljudski Vrt, the Swedes shouldn’t care too much as long as they can keep their score from the first leg intact and reach the next stage of the Europa Conference League qualifiers.
Not losing by more than a goal will be Hammarby’s main goal here, so they’ll likely look for a more defensively-minded approach for tonight’s game. Instead of pushing for another goal, Hammarby are expected to count on counter-attacking, which is a strategy that has worked for them in their domestic competition.
In fact, in each of their previous three matches in the Swedish Allsvenskan (which they won), Hammarby had the ball in their possession less than the opponents. It seems like Hammabry let their opponents keep the ball and count on their pacey players such as Gustav Ludwigson, Astrit Selmani, and Akinkunmi Amoo to look for goals from counter-attacks.
Maribor vs Hammarby Betting Picks
Hammarby are a better team than Maribor and have displayed good form in their domestic competition. Although Maribor deserve some praise for their showings in Prva Liga, the quality of the opponents they had to face in the domestic league isn’t comparable to teams Allsvenskan produces.
Hammarby will be content with a draw tonight; however, they definitely have enough talent to steal the win and hand Maribor another loss as they eliminate them from the newly established European football league.
Prediction: Hammarby +0.00 Asian Handicap – 2.08 Unibet
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