Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Partizani vs FC Red Bull Salzburg Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 27, 2016

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Partizani Tirana made a long awaited return to the Champions League this season thanks to the dominant Skenderbeu being excluded from European competitions for match fixing. They originally started the continental season in the Europa League, drawing the first leg of their qualifier 0-0 against Slovan Bratislava. However, the match fixing investigation saw Skenderbeu dismissed from the Champions League, cancelling Partizani Tirana’s 2nd leg tie and entering them into the Champions League.

The hosts finished runners up in last season’s Albanian Super Liga, five points behind Skenderbeu but 11 points clear of Kukesi, which sent them into the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League for the first time since 1993.

Their return to Europe’s top competition wasn’t an easy one though. They drew 1-1 with Ferencvaros in both legs of the 2nd qualifying round tie and had to settle the scored with a penalty shootout. These draws made it one win, four draws, and two defeats in their last seven outings.

FC Salzburg made it to the Champions League in a much more conventional manner. They breezed the Austrian Bundesliga as they beat Rapid Wien to the title by nine points, sending them into Champions League qualifying for the 5th year running.

However, they haven’t made it through to the group stages of the Champions League since 1993, although recently they have improved. They topped their group in the Europa League in 2014/15 season and became the highest scoring team in the group stages with a string of sensational performances.

FC Salzburg eased their 2nd Qualifying Round tie as well, comfortably beating Liepaja 3-0 on aggregate. However, their domestic season got off to a bad start on Saturday as Sturm Graz beat them 3-1.

The visitors are favourites for this tie, and it’s unsurprising as well. They are a much better side than Partizani Tirana and will feel confident of progressing, and my prediction of an FC Salzburg -0.5, -1.0 Asian Handicap Win at 1.650 looks good to me. I’m going for a 2-0 correct score prediction at 11/2 as well.

This will be the first meeting between these two sides.
67% of Salzburg's last six matches have seen them win by more than a single goal margin.

Partizani Tirana are hoping to have a fully fit squad on Tuesday.

FC Salzburg will be without centre back Paulo Miranda and striker Smail Prevljak, both of whom have ligament injuries.

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