Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Olimpija NK vs AS Trenčín Champions League Football Match Preview And Prediction - July 14, 2016

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This should be a competitive tie with not a great deal to choose between the teams. Olimpija won the Slovenian League last year for the 1st time and this is their first ever game in the Champions League. They have played in the Europa League 4 times before but even their best effort in the competition saw them knocked out in the 3rd Qualifying Round. Their most recent game in Europe was against Slovak opposition when they exited on away goals against MŠK Žilina in the Europa League 3 years ago. They have clearly improved since then though and finished 6 points clear of Maribor to win the Slovenian top flight last term. They were beaten 2-1 by Celtic in a friendly last week as they prepared for this game.

Trenčín are the slight favourites to progress over 2 legs but are also relative novices in the competition. They’ve only played 1 Champions League tie previously and that was last season when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Steaua Bucharest at this stage. They do look a stronger side now though and won the Slovakian League again last season with 7 more points than they managed in the previous campaign. Dutch forward Gino van Kessel was their main goal threat and could be their biggest weapon here.

Trenčín have played 5 friendlies ahead of this game and both teams scored in 4 of them. Both teams also scored in 4 of their last 5 competitive matches so there are usually goals when they play and they scored 23 more goals than 2nd place Slovan Bratislava in the Slovakian top flight last term. Olimpija Ljubljana also averaged over 2 goals per game in their domestic league last term and both teams scored in 5 of their final 9 games.

These teams are quite evenly matched with the visitors on paper slightly stronger so it is highly unlikely to be one of those games where one team parks the bus, which are relatively common in the early rounds in Europe, particularly in 1st Legs. Olimpija will see this as their best chance of winning the tie but Trencin will be hungry for an away goal to take back to Slovakia so backing both teams to score at Evens looks to offer value here.

This is the 1st meeting between the clubs in European competition.

Olimpija are unbeaten in 6 at home in Europe, with 4 wins and 2 draws during that period. Both teams have scored in 8 of Trencin's last 10 matches including friendlies.

Olimpija are likely to name a similar side to the one who lost to Celtic last week. Etien Velikonja could make his debut after his move from Cardiff.

Trencin are likely to name a similar team to the one who beat Sparta Prague in a friendly last week.

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