Drita take on the visitors Malmo FF at “Olympic Stadium Adem Jashari” in the first-leg battle of the 1/8 qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League. The game will be played in Mitrovica on Tuesday, July 10th.
It was very prestigious for such a humble club as Drita to appear in another qualifying stage of the UEFA Champions League. It’s obvious that the team’s chances to promote further are very low, still, I assume that the side is quite able to score a goal in face of its supporters. “Intelektualet” have already managed to overcome two preliminary rounds where they knocked out the clubs from Andorra and Gibraltar. Both victories were gained in the extra time and both times on the road. The team showed its great physical form, having scored five goals scored in 60 extra minutes of football. However, the forthcoming tackle will definitely not be an easy walk at all as the Swedish teams are notorious for their excellent physical conditions.
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Meanwhile, Malmo FF celebrated 4:0 victory over Sirius on the road last weekend. All the key players performed in that game which obviously means that the head-coach was not going to preserve the leaders for the Eurocup fights. It looks like the Swedes will try to earn an easy pass to the next round of the UEFA Europa League as the next clash which is against Ostersunds in Allsvenskan will be of great importance. At the moment Malmo FF are nine points behind the leader and in case Hammarby’s success in two delayed matches, the gap will be extended to 13 points for Sweden’s defending champion. So far, the forthcoming visitors currently occupy the eighth place in the standings with three opponents behind which have some spare games as well. I believe Malmo FF won’t put forth the main squad. Something similar happened a year ago in the clashes against Vardar which were finished in 1:1 home draw and 1:3 defeat on the road. Or few years ago the Swedes lost 0:2 to Salzburg on the road, having thrashed them 3:0 at the home field one week later. That season Malmo FF managed to get into group stage after having beaten Celtic 2:0 in the second-leg fight with the aggregates score of two legs making up 4:3 while the goal difference on the group stage was 1:7 at the home field and 0:12 on the road. Thus, the team got used to concede on the road even when it is in its best form which cannot be said about the current state of the side.
Drita prefer attacking football and score almost in every encounter of the domestic championship. Although the season in Kosovo's Superliga is already finished, I believe it would be better for the upcoming hosts to be focused on the inner competition rather than play every week in the Eurocups. Seven points gained by Malmo FF in seven away tackles as well as six goals conceded make me believe Drita will manage to score only one goal in the forthcoming clash.
Prediction for the match: Drita to score over 0.5 goals