Siroki Brijeg hosts Kairat Almaty in the first leg of the Europa League qualification 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Thursday, July 11th at Stadion Pecara (Široki Brijeg)
Over the past 10 years, Siroki Brijeg has been a regular participant in the qualification rounds of European cups, with rare exceptions. In the season 15-16, the team could not get into the European cups: then it did not get into the top three of the local championship and did not win the appropriate ticket to Europe. However, in spite of this constancy, the Bosnian club did not climb beyond the 3rd round of qualifications.
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For the last 5 years, Kairat has also been constantly playing in the qualifications of the Europa League. And the team also never made its way to the group stage. In the season 15-16, it had already reached the last stage of the qualifying games. It remained to beat French Bordeaux, but the task was not accomplished.
There is the offseason in Bosnia now, and Siroki Brijeg held only 2 friendly matches after the championship ended in May. No victories - a draw and a loss. But it scored and conceded on both of those matches. After not expressive start in the championship (a 3-match losing streak and a series of 5 lost matches out of 7), Kairat braced itself and earned 5 victories and a draw in the last 7 rounds and raised to the 4th line of the standings. At the same time, the goal difference is 26-16 after 18 matches played. As we can see, there are enough holes in the defense. And the rivals used those holes in 12 games of the tournament. The Bosnians are likely to score at least one goal either. But Kairat is pretty strong in attack. And they have a good forward. Ukrainian Brazilian Eseola has already scored 11 goals after 14 games. Therefore, the rivals are likely to score at least once each.
Prediction for the match: Both teams to score - yes