Monday, 18 July 2016

Legia Warsaw vs HSK Zrinjski Mostar Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 20, 2016

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Legia Warsaw have had a poor start to their 2016-17 campaign. Title holders Warsaw were hammered 4-1 in the final of the Polish Super Cup by 6th placed finishing Lech Poznan and drew 1-1 last Saturday in the opening fixture of the Polish Ekstraklas (football league) season against Jagiellonia Bialystok, who finished 12th last season. While the Champions League is a step up from last season’s Europa League qualification, Warsaw were favourites to take more than a 1-1 draw away from Zrinkjski in the first leg and the pressure is piling after a string of unimpressive performances.

Zrinjski won the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League for the 4th time last season. Zrinjski have failed to get further than the 2nd qualifying round in in all of their 3 previous Champions League campaigns and although they have improved considerably over recent years, the level of football in the Bosnian leagues is still somewhat weaker than that across Europe. Zrinjski have, however, not lost a competitive game since November 2015 so they are clearly grinding out results without mistakes and are in with a fighting chance to progress.

While Legia Warsaw are odds on favourites this should not mean that Zrinjski should be simply written off. Zrinjski are an improved side since their last Champions League outing and come into this off the back of a long unbeaten run. Legia Warsaw’s poor showings in recent weeks adds growing pressure on the side and as such we feel the value for this match is on Zrinjski’s side. Combining this analysis with the statistics below, we expect Zrinjski or draw at 9/4 and a 1-1 draw at 17/2 with bet365 to be top value bets for this match.

Zrinjski's 1-1 draw at home to Legia Warsaw in the first leg was the first and only time the two sides have previously met.

3 of Zrinjski's last 4 away and 2 of Legia's last 3 home matches had under 2.5 goals scored. Legia Warsaw have not won in any of their last 3 home fixtures.

Legia Warsaw coach Besnik Hasi has played a similar lineup in each of their last 3 fixtures with the only changes being a starting place for Swiss striker Aleksander Prijovic as he placed Hungarian Nikolics to a starting spot in their opening league fixture.

Zrinjski had a few players on their debuts for the first leg of this tie such as Goalkeeper Kozic and defender Slobodan Jakovljevic. Defender Radeljic also returned after a short spell at Vitez.

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