Thursday, 14 July 2016

Piast Gliwice vs IFK Goteborg Europa League Match Preview And Prediction - July 15, 2016

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Thursday will be the first time these two clubs have met one another.Both teams have scored in 80% of IFK Goteborg's last ten away days.

Piast Gliwice are expecting to have a fully fit squad for this one.

Goalkeeper Erik Dahlin and defensive duo Adam Johansson and Benjamin Yapi Zalo are all out injured.

Piast Gliwice have enjoyed quite the rise to prominence in Polish football recently. They were only promoted back to the first tier back in 2012 after winning the I Liga, and in that very same season they managed to wrap up a 4th place finish in the Polish Ekstraklasa to qualify for the next season’s Europa League for the first time in their history.

They were knocked out that year by Qarabag after losing 4-3 on aggregate, and what followed was a few seasons of bottom half finishes for them. Last season they turned it around though, picking up an impressive 58 points from their 30 league matches to finish 2nd in the table. They were only two points adrift of Legia Warsaw in the end, and held an eight point advantage on 3rd placed Pogon Szczecin.

Had it not been for Piast Gliwice’s defeat on the final day of the league season they would have won the league title. 2nd place is still a remarkable achievement for them, and now they will look towards converting their domestic success to continental success. They have won six of their last eight matches in all competitions and lost two of their last 11.

IFK Goteborg also finished 2nd in their domestic league last season, trailing Swedish Allsvenskan winners Norrkoping by three points by the end of the 2015 campaign. With the Scandinavian seasons already well underway, IFK Goteborg find themselves in 3rd position at the moment with 24 points from their first 13 games. They are already six points adrift of leaders Malmo though.

Their form is impressive at the moment, unfortunately for the hosts. IFK Goteborg have won five matches on the bounce and seven of their last nine, losing just once. This includes a 7-1 aggregate win over Llandudno in the Europa League 1st Qualifying Round.

IFK Goteborg are regulars in the Europe as well, and have contested in the Europa League in each of the last three seasons. Generally they do make it further than this stage, but back in the 2013/14 season they were eliminated by AS Trencin in the 2nd qualifying round.

Piast Gliwice managed to get a draw in their only previous home fixture in the Europa League against Qarabag, but that was a couple of years ago now. They have scored in 13 of their last 15 home matches though, and IFK Goteborg have conceded in seven of their last 11 away days in Europe and in each of their last six away matches in all competitions.

The visitors have managed to find the net in nine of their last ten trips away as well though, so they should be able to bag a goal at least in Poland. But it’s unlikely they’ll keep a clean sheet too, so my prediction is for both teams to score at excellent value odds of 5/6, and I’m also going for a high scoring 2-2 correct score prediction at 14/1.

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