Torpedo Kutaisi take on the visitors Sheriff Tiraspol at “Stadion Ramaz Shengelia” in the first-leg fight of the 1/8 qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League. The game will be played in Kutaisi on Tuesday, July 10th.
Torpedo Kutaisi won the champion’s title of the Georgian Erovnuli Liga last year. However, the current season is not very successful for the team as it is currently sitting just on the fifth position in the standings with 27 points gained. As for the Eurocups history, Torpedo Kutaisi had three unsuccessful attempts in the UEFA Europa League, having failed to promote from the qualifying stage there. In 2012 the club was knocked out by Aktobe 1:2. In 2013 and 2017 the Georgians were knocked out by Slovak’s Zilina and Trencin correspondingly. Thus, the Eurocups are a hard nut to crack for the side so far. Nevertheless, the club comes up to the upcoming match in a good mood as it has engaged some good players on the eve of the qualifying round. Thus, I expect Torpedo Kutaisi not to give up easily and do their best to promote further in the competition. Still, I believe the home-field factor will be the crucial one for the Georgians in the Tuesday tackle as they produce quite a strong play in face of their fans. The team has lost only four out of last 20 home encounters.
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It goes without saying that Sheriff Tiraspol are a solid Moldavian side which almost every year participates in the Eurocups. And I am convinced the club has no decent opponents in Moldova now as it is currently leading the table of the Moldavian Divizia Nationala. Last year the Moldavians even promoted to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, however, didn’t manage to move further. That was the first time the club promoted to the group stage of a Eurocup. In 2014 the Moldavians were stopped one step from the group stage by Rijeka which thrashed them with 4:0 scoreline. In 2015 the team was stopped by Norwegian Odda 0:3. In a year they were also threw away from the first round by H. Beer Sheva 2:3. Last season Sheriff Tiraspol finally promoted to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
It is obvious that Sheriff Tiraspol are favourites of this pair, however, not of the tackles in Georgia. Although the Moldavians have more experience at the international stage, the statistics show that the team suffers a lot at away fields. Since 2014 the team managed to win only one out of seven encounters conducted on the road in the Eurocups qualification. Thus, it won’t be easy for Sheriff Tiraspol in the forthcoming encounter in Georgia as the later will definitely do their best to show good football in front of their supporters where they usually look very tough.
Prediction for the match: Torpedo Kutaisi to win with 0.0 Asian handicap.