Shakhter Karagandy hosts FC Steaua Bucuresti in the second leg of the Europa Conference League qualification quarterfinals. The match will be played on Thursday, July 29th at Šachtër Stadion (Karagandy)
Shakhter Kragandy looked decent in the first match of a very difficult two-legged confrontation against the famous club Steaua Bucuresti. The Kazakh Miners allowed their much stronger opponent to deliver only a couple of shots on their target. Truth be told, it was enough for the Red-Blues to gain a minimal 1-0 victory, but Karaganda never managed to disturb the Romanian goalkeeper. I think that the return match will take place in a roughly similar calm manner. After all, Shakhter understands very well that it is very dangerous to get involved in open football with such an experienced opponent. Most likely, the cautious hosts will again choose waiting tactics (at least in the first half of the match). And it will lead to the minimum number of goals scored.
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As for Steaua, this is a very mature team by international standards. And it is completely unacceptable for the Red-Blues to disgrace themselves in matches with such opponents as Shakther Karagandy. At least the regular participation of the Romanian club in the group and playoff rounds of the Champions League and the Europa League speaks of its complete advantage over the Miners. The latter advanced to the EL group only once in history. It is unlikely that the visitors of the upcoming game will be in a hurry. They are probably completely satisfied with the score of the first leg, which they can try to save, given the modest attacking potential of Shakhter.
In my opinion, the Romanian grandee will still be able to squeeze into the next qualification stage of the newly-made Conference League in a tough and stubborn struggle. Well, Shakhter should probably rely only on a miracle, which will also not help the hosts to fully compete with the seasoned Steaua for the victory. Finally, I will add that Karaganda has managed to win only two out of nine matches in the current championship of Kazakhstan, and all of them ended with Under 3.5 goals scored!
Prediction for the match: FCSB to win with +0.5 handicap and Under 3.5 goals scored