Wacker Innsbruck was a completely dominant side in Austrian 2. Liga last season and the team completely deserved their progress to the Bundesliga for this season. They ended up the league competition with three points more than second-placed Hartberg, but losing last two matches and having a draw in the third round before the end of the season.
Obviously, they didn’t care much for the results once they sealed the promotion, while there’s no doubt that their only target for the new season will be to avoid the relegation, by all means, this time. The team didn’t look that bad in the first round of the Bundesliga edition when they visited Austria Wien and suffered 2:1 defeat. They actually took the lead in the 19th minute via Dedic and stood more than competitive on the field as long as they had the energy.
The home team replied back in the 38th minute with a goal from Grunwald, while Turgeman reverted the scoreline completely in the 52nd minute. As the time progressed it was obvious that the players of Austria had more energy and quality missing a penalty towards the end. Of course that their approach will be different in front of own crowd and the team is expected to be even more threatening.
UCD welcome Cabinteely to the UCD bowl as the Irish league starts to close in on the season.
UCD lead the First Division by 7 points with just 5 games to go and a win here could put them within reach of the title, especially with 2nd place Drogheda facing a tough game against Galway.
UCD have a full squad to choose from.
Cabinteely have had an average season, probably going to finish as well as expected. Their main problem this season has been their away form scoring just 10 points from their 11 games. Their 3 away wins have been against Athlone and Wexford who are by far the 2 worst sides in the league.
Sparta Prague will host Spartak Subotica in reverse fixture of the second round qualifications for Europa league.
Spartak Subotica made a big upset winning 2-0 in the first leg. They showed a really good performance in that game, scored an early goal and after that played carefully and waited for chances from counters attacks and scored another one goal. Tactically they played great in that game, but I am not sore could they perform like that in this game.
Quality is on Sparta side, that is sure. Big problem for them is that atmosphere in team is not so good. They have some great inviduals, but not playing so well like a team. Last season they finished on 5th place in league even they had much bigger ambitions. After defeat from Spartak in the first round they have sacked Hapal and named Scasny for a coach. They showed something better play under him in their first game beating Jablonec 2-1 in domestic league and I expect better play from them in Europe as well.
Suduva will host Crvena Zvezda in the second leg match of 2nd round of Champions league qualifying.
We have seen a total domination of Crvena Zvezda in their first leg game in Belgrade. Crvena Zvezda won that game with 3-0 and they could be even more convincing. Crvena Zvezda had 61% ball possession and 16 shots of which 8 were on target, while they allowed Suduva 3 shots and none of them was on target.
I think Crvena Zvezda will be better in this game as well, simply quality is on their side, while they are also in very good form at this moment. Crvena Zvezda have won last 4 games, while they are still without a goal conceded in 5 official matches this season. Here they will play with their strongest team as Stojiljkovic their main striker has recovered from injury.
There is no recent relevant history in official matches between the two teams. That’s why I will try to make my perspective only after the matches this season.
I really like how Hammarby evolves in home matches. With an offensive spirit in which the team continually seeks the goal without trying to close the game when lead. Of course these things can be done when the opponent adopts a similar philosophy.
Still this match is played by Hammarby on the move. In the first 4 games of the season they scored two goals in each match. They also received at least a goal in each of these games. There was a 1-1 away from Kalmar. And then 0-0 at Elfsborg. A result that did not surprise me at all because I was expecting a tight match without much success. So I see Hammarby as a team able to score at any time, against anyone but also in danger of receiving goals.
Vitosha Bistritsa began the new season in the Bulgarian First League with a 2-1 home win over Dunav Ruse on July 20, in Rosen Kirilov’s debut as the team’s new head coach.The hosts, who had to wait more than nine month for their first victory on this level following their promotion at the end of the 2016/2017 season, showed fighting spirit in the opening round of the season and overcame one-goal deficit with two second-half goals from Nasko Milev (62′ penalty) and Stefan Hristov (64).
However, it doesn’t change the fact that Vitosha Bistritsa is among the teams with the lowest potential in this league and although the hosts have a little more experience compared to last campaign, it’s obvious that their main goal will be to avoid relegation to a lower division.Several changes have been made in this team during the summer break, as the hosts added to their squad five new players in Georgi Kupenov (defender / from Botev Plovdiv), Ivaylo Todorov (defender / from Pirin Blagoevgrad), Andi Renja (midfielder / from Pirin Blagoevgrad), Ivaylo Klimentov (midfielder / on loan from Ludogorets Razgrad) and Nasko Milev (forward / from Slavia Sofia), while four experienced players in Yordan Varbanov (defender), Orlin Starokin (midfielder), Daniel Peev (midfielder) and Nikolay Hristozov (forward) have left the club in this period.
Two teams who wish their seasons were better will release their frustrations at Gamla Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg. IFK Goteborg started the season in a promising fashion with new head coach Poya Asbaghi. The club picked up victories away against Malmo and home against Dalkurd. However, it has been an inconsistent performing team who have a tendency to let leads slip of their hands.
They let many last minute goals in which has been costly point wise, and this became evident in their previous match with Sirus when a 0-2 lead vanished and eventually lost 3-2 after conceding two penalties. The light in the dark is that 21 year old attacker Giorgi Kharaishvili (11/3) has scored goals in two straight matches and is the player who is firing the most shots in entire Allsvenskan this season.
It is particularly important that other players start to produce goals since IFK Goteborg lost key players in central midfielder Mix Diskerud (12/2) and captain Sebastian Eriksson (11/0). Also, main goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg left for Watford in Premier League. It is obviously a tough situation but despite the losses, they have found ways to score goals. The problem has been to maintain leads.
Derry City got completely outplayed last Monday evening when the team visited Cork City and stood defeated with a 5:0 result. Their opponents were better from the very first minute and there was nothing the guests could do in order to avoid defeat.
That first halftime was actually open from both sides and both of them had chances, even Derry had few decent tries. However, hosts were far more concrete and scored twice in the first halftime. Goals came via Buckley in 19th and Keohane in 34th minute while it made the game much more easier for them in the repetition.
Buckley scored his second in 50th minute, while Delaney and Coughlan scored too. It was completely spent halftime in the dominance of the home team that looked like a class above. Players of Derry City maybe weren’t the freshest for this clash, since they had Europa League duties previously.
Olimpija Ljubljana is going through a difficult period, as the hosts were eliminated by Azerbaijani side Qarabag in the first qualifying round of the Champions League after a 0-1 loss in Ljubljana on July 11 and goalless draw at Tofiq Bahramov Stadium seven days later and suffered a 0-2 loss in the visit to Gorica in the opening round of the Slovenian Prva Liga last Saturday.
Three important players in Filip Uremovic (defender / to Rubin Kazan), Mitch Apau (defender / to Slovan Bratislava) and Dario Canadjija (midfielder / to Rijeka) have left the club this summer, but they were replaced by enough quality players in Macky Bagnack (defender / from Admira Wacker), Marko Gajic (defender / from Vozdovac), Matic Crnic (midfielder / from Rijeka), Asmir Suljic (forward / from MOL Vidi), Andrija Kaludjerovic (forward / from Wellington Phoenix), etc., so the poor start of the season wasn’t actually expected.In the matter of fact, the hosts played well in both games against Qarabag (a team that reached the group stage of the Champions League last season) and now they’ll have a good chance of taking their first win of the season against a much weaker opponent like Crusaders.
Ludogorets host MOL Vidi in the 1st leg of their CL qualification tie.
Ludogorets changed their coach after the end of the previous season and maybe that was the best news which could be expected by their supporters. Previous manager Dimitar Dimitrov was such a defensive kind of manager, which was annoying for a club with such an attacking power, almost the same situation like Mourinho and Manchester United-1:0 was enough result for him.. it was so boring to look Ludogorets during most of the matches, only in Europe competition matches they often played quality football and that was the reason to get out of a group with teams like Braga, Istanbul Basaksehir and Hoffenheim, before Milan stopped them. So, the new manager in very experienced, he is Brazilian and his name is Paulo Autuori. Since his arrival, the club is growing tactically, that’s obvious. They always play with a lot of ball possession and passes, but now I see they try to play very simple football, much more direct and faster, using perfectly both flangs, playing with more passes on the ground, not like in the matches with Dimitrov, when flangs were used only to cross the ball and teams with taller defenders like Copenhagen totally outplayed us, because of this stupidity. Now I see Autuori uses their speed for breaking through the defenses with the wings and they have the chance to shoot much more from distance or give the finishing passes to the striker. That looks like the football I felt in love when I first saw Ludogorets in Europe matches seven years ago. The difference is that they are much more experienced and with better squad quality.