It has been over 6 months since Malmo lost a home match, and this is a key match up in Europa League for them, and most likely the game which will decide progression or not. Allsvenskan finished on the 11th of November, but Malmo have remained fit with a cup game against Lund.
In Europe, there is an interesting pattern when it comes to Malmos home games. They often over perform against good teams, and under perform against less competitive sides. This has been seen on multiple occasions such as victories against Celtic, Salzburg, Olympiakos, Shakthar and Besiktas. However, bad results have come against similar or weaker sides like Vardar, Midtjylland, MOL Vidi and Sarpsborg to name a few.
I see Genk belonging to the upper scale, and can see a good performance coming from Malmo here. They have the habit of winning, a solid run of matches and a generally fit squad. For many players this is the highlight of the season.
The Belgians might not be in their best run currently, but it was not long ago they defeated Besiktas in Istanbul and scored four goals.
Speaking about current shape – Genk have not won in four consecutive matches but remains top of the league Belgium. They are still a very competitive and capable offensive team with lots of talent across the pitch. They miraculously lost against Cecle Brugge despite controlling the game with 61% possession and 14-3 in shots. 1-2 was the final score and another blow to the confidence. However, looking back at the first meeting between these sides, Genk were in better form and clearly deserved the victory (2-0) that time.
Leandro Trossard and Mbwana Samata remain very big threats up front, while being backed by the hard shooting midfielder Ruslan Malinovsky and the creative Alejandro Pozuelo.
The group is incredibly tight, and it looks to be a sell out crowd in Malmo for this evening. Neither side can safely settle for a draw, and I expect much of back and forth action. Malmo will not appear as passive as they did in Belgium during the first meeting and will be pushed by an intensive crowd to seal the victory. Genk are currently vulnerable but have too much offensive talent. The visitors are also a typical “both teams to score” side, and this sounds like a very possible scenario in my opinion.