Valur and Dinamo Zagreb will cross swords on Tuesday, July 13, at Hlíðarendi in the world’s northernmost capital. The reverse fixture ended in a 3-2 victory for Dinamo, who held the reins of the match in their hands until the final two minutes when they leaked two goals, giving the Icelandic side a fighting chance as they look to qualify for the most prestigious European football club competition.
Valur vs Dinamo Zagreb
When: Tuesday, July 13 – 20:00 GMT
Where: Hlíðarendi in Reykjavík, Iceland
Weather: Showers, 11°C
Referee: Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM)
Dinamo Zagreb are travelling to Iceland with a 3-2 lead on aggregate. They conceded two goals in Croatia, but that result doesn’t show the real picture. In that match, Dinamo were a far better team, holding a 3-0 lead at one point, and even had a chance to make it 4-0 but missed a penalty.
Oddsmakers think Dinamo are clear favourites in this game. We have to agree, not just because the Croatian team has much better players than Valur, but also because failing to qualify is not an option for the Blues.
Can Valur Upset the Odds?
Valur are enjoying a pretty good run in their domestic league. They’re the current Pepsideild frontrunners with a 8-3-1 record and are billed as the main favourites to win their 24th title. That, however, doesn’t mean much since Icelandic’ top flight isn’t very competitive – at least relative to other European leagues.
Even though Valur are a force to be reckoned with in Iceland, that doesn’t mean they have a realistic chance of achieving much on the continental stage.
Valur did score two goals in Croatia, but we wouldn’t overreact to it. Valur produced only four attempts on the day and converted half of them in 88′ and 89′. In comparison, Dinamo Zagreb had three times as many shots on goal.
On the bright side, Valur are playing home, where they’re used to lower temperatures. Tonight’s forecast shows 11°C, which is not something Dinamo players aren’t accustomed to at this time of year. As a comparison, the temperature in Zagreb is expected to be 32°C at the time of the match.
Dinamo Zagreb Want a Play in the Champions League
Dinamo Zagreb played in the Champions League five times in the past ten years. Last season, they failed to qualify after losing to Ferencvaros in round 3 of the qualifiers but instead entered the Europa League. This season, they’re determined to get back to the elite continental championship.
The Croatian side indeed have the players to achieve that, although a couple of their key men will miss this game because they took part in EURO 2020. Those players are, namely, Dominik Livaković, Luka Ivanušec, Mislav Oršić, Bruno Petković, and Mario Gavranović.
Nevertheless, even without them, Dinamo look much stronger than Valur. The man under the spotlight for tonight’s game is Arijan Ademi, who scored two in the first game. He also missed a penalty, so he has a lot to make up for.
Valur vs Dinamo Zagreb Betting Picks
Although Dinamo weren’t too impressive in their 3-2 win last time out, we expect them to do much better tonight. The Croats were significantly better than Valur on the day but then let their foot off the gas in the final minutes, so we can’t value Valur’s goals too much.
What’s more, Dinamo should be at a much better fitness level ahead of this bout, as they had to start preparing for the Croatian domestic league, which begins on the weekend.
Furthermore, these players have the experience on their side, serving as an added benefit as they travel to Iceland for all three points.
Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb -2.00 Asian Handicap – 2.30 at Unibet
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