Monday, 18 July 2016

FK Liepajas Metalurgs vs FC Red Bull Salzburg Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 19, 2016

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Red Bull Salzburg won their third consecutive Austrian Bundesliga title and Austrain Cup last season, and should be aiming for a better run in the Champions League this year. Last season RB Salzburg only managed to reach the Champions League 3rd qualifying round, where they lost 3-2 to Malmo on aggregate. Salzburg will, however, have to improve on their performance from last Tuesday, where they “only” won 1-0 at home to 2014 founded FK Lepaja (formerly FK Liepaja Metalurgs), if they wish to put their mark on this tournament.

Lepaja are, similarly, a top team in their native league (the Latvian Virsliga). Since their 2014 formation, where they took over all aspects of the club formally known as FK Lepaja Metalurgs, FK Lepaja have managed a 4th place finish in 2014 and are currently the reigning Virsliga champions. Top place in the league last season qualified them for the Champions League 2nd qualifying round, though some of their focus remains on the current Virsliga campaign which started in Spring.

Lepaja played very defensively in the first leg of this fixture, with RB Salzburg playing too slowly and lacking the ideas to break or force any errors from the Latvian side. Only in the 73rd minute were the Austrians able to break through. FK Lepaja will be disappointed not to have taken an away goal away from this match as they recklessly threw away two great equalising chances in the closing stages of the match. Lepaja will be unable to defend their way through this match if they wish to qualify and Salzburg hope to take advantage of that. RB Salzburg have scored 11 goals in their last 4 matches (2.75 goals per game) so they are clearly capable. Lepaja will likely continue defensively early on but be forced to put men forward approaching the end of the match in an attempt to qualify. Hence, counter attack goals from RB Salzburg seem likely to happen.

Combining this analysis with the statistics below, we expect Salzburg’s second half to be the highest scoring at 11/10 and a result of 3-0 Salzburg at 17/2 with bet365 to be a top value correct score bet for this match.

Salzburg won 1-0 at home in the first leg against Lepaja in the only time the two sides have previously met.

Salzburg are unbeaten in 6 matches (W5 D1) scoring an average of 2.2 goals per game. 3 of Liepaja's last 3 matches were under 2.5 goals scored.

Lepaja are without defender/defensive midfielder Dmitrijs Hmizs, who is out suffering from a cruciate ligament problem.

Spanish striker Soriano (21 goals in 27 appearances) scored the only goal in the 1-0 win in the first leg. Striker Smail Prevljak (1 goal in 7 appearances) is still out with a cruciate ligament injury.

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