Saburtalo Tbilisi hosts Dinamo Zagreb in the first leg of the Champions League qualification quarterfinals. The match will be played on Tuesday, July 23rd at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium (Tbilisi)
The champion of Georgia made one of the main sensations of the first qualification round. Few expected the Georgians to win at least one match. Especially the team failed to win any of the three matches in the local championship before the Champions League. However, already in Moldova, the champion of Georgia secured a passage further (at least everyone thought so). Saburtalo deservedly outplayed Sheriff, even if it had not played enough on such a wildest defeat. It would seem that everything is over, pack your bags, dear Moldovans. However, the Georgians showed an unconfident return match. The team conceded three goals in the first 12 minutes and barely recovered. With the help of legionnaires, Sheriff seized the initiative, but the judge came up with the red card and Saburtalo went further. Is the team so good? No, no, no. In the end, Saburtalo didn’t convert a huge number of goal attempts, and they rarely play scoring matches in the local championship.
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After a failure in one season, Dinamo Zagreb regained its champion title. The angry capital team finished with as much as 25 points margin, showing who was the boss in the country. In the preseason, the Croatian team looked very interesting, and the newcomers had already tried to prove themselves. As a result, only one new player appeared in the Super Cup and championship on a permanent basis, but which one. Ivo Pinto left the club from English Premier League. Dinamo feels great after the preseason. Heavy departure to Tbilisi? Come on, Dinamo is clearly not the team that is afraid of it.
Unfortunately, the tale of the Georgian team should end soon. There is a chance to get in the Europa League, no more. The return match with the Sheriff showed that the team, like the entire championship, is moving in the right direction, but even the conditional middle-class team status is still very, very far away. Some legionaries will not make a difference, and local players are rather weak. The players of Dinamo are both more experienced and better physically ready, at least at first glance. The Georgian team will be obliged to defend. Zagreb will not enter the match for a long time, which should be reflected on the scoreboard already in the first half.
Prediction for the match: Dinamo Zagreb to win the first half