Thursday, 28 July 2016

Torpedo Zhodino vs SK Rapid Vienna UEFA Europa League Qualifiers Match Preview And Prediction - July 29, 2016

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Torpedo Zhodino are the Belarusian Cup winners but only finished in 7th place in what is quite a weak league last season. This is only their 3rd European campaign and already it is their best after they knocked out Debrecen of Hungary in the 2nd Qualifying Round, impressively winning both legs of that tie. They are in the middle of their season at home so should be the sharper of the two sides but they are down in 8th place with only 5 wins from 15 games so far.

In terms of quality Rapid Vienna should be far superior. They are entering the competition at this stage but have had an excellent pre-season. They won all of their five friendly matches, the most recent of which was a 2-0 win over a strong Chelsea side and they got their Austrian Bundesliga campaign off to an excellent start at the weekend with a 5-0 home win against Ried. They have a long history in European football and have performed pretty well in recent seasons. They did very well in the group stage of this competition last term winning 5 of their 6 games but were hammered by Valencia in the last 32.

All things considered there should only really be one winner in this tie. The away leg will obviously be tougher for Rapid but they are playing some excellent football at the moment and come into the game full of confidence. Including friendlies they’ve won all of their last 8 matches and they won away to Dinamo Minsk, a stronger Belarusian team, last season in this competition so they won’t fear this trip.

Torpedo Zhodino did well in the last round but this is a real step up in class and they are likely to be exposed by the Austrians here. Therefore consider backing Rapid Vienna to Win at 4/5.

The teams have never previously met.

Torpedo haven't won any of their last 4 home games in Belarusian football. Including 2 friendlies, Rapid have won their last 5 away games.

Torpedo are likely to name a similar side to the one that saw off Debrecen with much of their attacking threat coming from the 3 Ukranians Golenkov, Zagynaylov and Shapoval.

Rapid hammered in 5 goals in an hour at the weekend and the bulk of that side should start here. Maximilian Hofmann and ArnĂ³r Ingvi Traustason, who played for Iceland at Euro 2016, may come in.

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