Maccabi Haifa came second in the league the previous season, ending it with thirty-one point less than the champions from Maccabi Tel Aviv.
It’s obvious that the quality and a structural difference in the club is huge, while the side can’t expect much more this season either – but the second position in the brightest possible way.
Anyhow, they will surely try to go as far as possible in the qualifiers, trying for a group stage. Last time they played in the group stage was back in 2013/14 season. As most notable friendlies so far, they had a 3:0 win over Waasland-Beveren and a goalless game against St. Truiden.
They have opted to sign re-inforcement from the domestic league for now, plus offensive Wildschut from Norwich City. A couple of players have left the team, going out via contract release in a planned way.
Mura ended up at the fourth position in the Slovenian Prva liga, also coming all the way till the semi-finals of the domestic club where they were excluded with a 1:2 result by Maribor, also champions of the country.
Mura got their Europa League ticket in the last rounds of the league, however, this season was the most successful one in the history of the club which is only seven years old – this one was their first season in the top Slovenian tier.
The Slovenians had friendlies against regional opponents, losing out to Ferencvaros 1:4 and Zrinjski 1:2, but winning over Albanian Partizani 2:1 and amateur side Beltinci 3:1 last Saturday evening. The team wasn’t changed much for now, but influential striker Sirk and central defender Pericic have left the club.
Experience, individual quality but also the fact that Mura struggles a bit on the road even in the domestic league, speak in favor of the home team. They surely have the quality to earn significant advantage ahead of the second leg – most likely without conceding a goal in this one.
Tvmoca propose : Maccabi Haifa (-1 AH)