Thursday, 28 July 2016

SK Slavia Praha vs Rio Ave UEFA Europa League Qualifiers Match Preview And Prediction - July 29, 2016


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Another fixture in this 3rd round qualifier where the two teams playing are yet to have met. This time it is Slavia Praha and Rio Ave.

Last season, Slavia Praha qualified for the Europa League by placing 5th in the Czech Liga. They had a good finish to the season with 3 wins and 2 draws in the last 5 games. However, since then, it has not been plain sailing. They have played 9, won 3, lost 5 and drawn 1. Slavia Praha had a poor 1st leg in the previous round of this competition. They lost 3-1 away to Levadia in Estonia. They managed to qualify for this stage with a 2-0 victory in the return leg, winning on away goals.

Rio Ave finished 6th in last season’s Primeira Liga in Portugal. They had a contrasting finish to their season with only 1 win in 5 games. They managed to clinch 5 points in 5 games as the season came to an end. Rio Ave also received a bye to this stage of the competition. With that in mind, they will have only played friendlies coming into this game on Thursday. Since returning to training, Rio Ave have played 3 games. They have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1. Another inconsistent set of results but this time with a rotating squad.

It has been a busy summer of transfers for both sides. Slavia Praha have recruited 7 new players. They are yet to sell or release any current players. They now have 3 new strikers, 3 more midfielders and 1 new defender. Playmaker Dusan Svento from FC Koln is the main pick of the new crop of players.

As with Praha, Rio Ave have had a hectic summer of acquisitions. They have signed no less than 8 players, 75% of those new signings are strikers! Another player to sign for Rio Ave is Filipe Augusto from Braga. Heading out the club are Edimar, Heldon, Joris Kayembe, Kuca, Nelson Monte & Renan Bressan.

30 year old Milan Skoda was Praha’s top scorer last season with 14 goals in the league. The attacker is available for selection in this tie – so we anticipate him to be the usual fox in the box. There was no prolific goal scorer for Rio Ave last season, as they scored goals from all over the pitch.

So far, Slavia Praha have played 9 games, scored 13 (1.44 a game) and conceded 10 (1.11 a game). Rio Ave, as stated above, have had less pre-season games. They have played 3 games, scored 5 (1.67 a game) and conceded 4 ( 1.33 a game).

At home, Praha have scored in 6 of 7 games, scoring 12 goals in total (2.00 per game). Whereas, Rio Ave have scored 5 in 3 away games (1.67 a game).

Even though Slavia Praha score on average 2.00 goals a game at home this season, my prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw at 11/2 with bet365. Both teams are solid at the back, both home and away. Also taking into consideration that neither will want to force the game during the 1st leg, we are going for Rio Ave Double Chance at 4/5 with bet365.

Another tie in this round where the two teams are yet to have played one another.

Slavia Praha have played 9 games, scored 13 in 9 games (1.44 a game) and conceded 10 (1.11 a game). Rio Ave, as stated above, have had less pre-season games. They have played 3 games, scored 5 (1.67 a game) and conceded 4 (1.33 a game). At home, Praha have scored in 6 of 7 games, scoring 12 goals in total (2.00 per game). Whereas, Rio Ave have scored 5 in 3 away games (1.67 a game).

No injury news to report for Slavia Praha.

Nothing to report on the fitness front for Rio Ave.

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