Valur hosts Maribor in the first leg of the Champions League qualification 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Wednesday, July 10th at Hlídarendi (Reykjavík)
It looks like we will see a new champion of Iceland in this season. Valur frankly failed the first part of the season, losing 6 of 12 matches. As a result, it is already TEN points behind leading Reykjavik... And there are little prerequisites that the team will manage to catch up with the leader. The defense of Valur is very weak in this season - the team concedes in every match, and this is s simple failure. Well, in my opinion, there is a perfectly logical question: if Valur is experiencing such difficulties in the local championship, which is, to put it mildly, not the strongest one, what can this team oppose such a frankly strong (by the standards of qualification) rival like Maribor? Perhaps nothing.
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Maribor is at the level of such teams as Celtic or BATE, and it clearly terrifies the opponents in the starting qualifying rounds. Since these teams have great experience in European cups, absolutely no one wants to meet them in the very first stages of qualification. The last European Cup season was not very successful for the Slovenes – they lost to Scottish Rangers at the final stage of the Europa League qualifiers. Well, a year earlier, they even fought in the Champions League group, fraying the nerves of Spartak Moscow, playing with the Muscovites in a draw 2 times. Maribor is a team of such a level that such rivals as Valur shouldn't scare the Slovenes in any way. Naturally, it needs to seriously approach the confrontation, but Darko Milanic’s team shouldn’t have any problems. Someone can say that this will be the first official match of the Slovenes in the season, since the championship has not yet started. But the team is experienced and knows how to lead itself to such important battles through friendly matches!
Considering the big problems of the Icelandic team in terms of results and defensive line, I think that Maribor can make a score like 3-0 in the away game and take all the issues off the list! The level of the teams is frankly different, and the Slovenes should gain victory without any problems.
Prediction for the match: Maribor to win