Osijek was finally able to break their three matches winless streak in 1. NHL, as they recorded their first victory this season against Rijeka with a 3:0 result, playing back at their home.
They scored their first goal very early, already in the 5th minute over Jugovic. From the 37th minute, the home side had a numerical advantage on the field, and only one minute later they doubled their lead over Bockaj. In the continuation, the home team was effective once more in the 75th minute over Mierez and took a morale-boosting victory in this one.
Osijek is coming to this Europa League qualification match with their confidence back in their offensive capabilities, and we can expect an aggressive approach in this clash.
Offensive midfielders Ndockyt (3/0) and Lyopa (1/0) should miss for the Croatian side this time due to injuries.
After they finished their season at 3rd place in the Switzerland Super League, Basel played a Swiss Cup final against Young Boys back in August, when they suffered a 1:2 loss after a complete reversal.
They went on a break with a 1:0 advantage, but Young Boys kept their focus and managed to reverse the result to their favor with goals in the 50th and the 89th minute.
Overly looking, Basel is an effective team, but they are easily conceding. They will most certainly approach this qualification match with confidence in their offensive line, but I am not sure that they will able to keep their sheet clean, as they are pretty vulnerable in the back.
Forward Cabral (26/14, last season) and midfielder Ramires (9/0, last season) should be injured.
Basel is vulnerable
Basel is logically a favorite in this one, but they are far from a side to be trusted at the moment. They do work better in the offense, but their defensive behavior can get questionable at any moment.
Osijek is far from a real underdog in this one and they definitely will be threatening as well. The Croats definitely know that they can’t afford to stay passive all the time, as it’s not the way to progress against probably any Swiss side.