01 AUG 2019 UEFA Champions League : AIK vs Maribor
Date : 01 JULY 2019 Time : 01 :00 AM Match : AIK vs Maribor
Prediction : 1 : 0
Vote Prediction :
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Maribor will be looking to defend their slim lead in the Champions League qualifying tie with AIK when the two teams face each other at Friends Arena on Wednesday evening. The Violets recorded a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Swedish champions at Ljudski vrt stadium, but their job is only half done. The Slovenian champions are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in the return leg, but seeing that AIK are a real force to be reckoned with at home, we are tempted to put our money on Rikard Norling’s troops.
The Gnaget are on a three-game winning run on home soil in the national championship and we believe that there is a big value in betting on the Allsvenskan title holders. Henok Goitom, who scored a beautiful away goal in the first leg, will be one of the men to watch in the home team.
HIGHLIGHTED PLAYER (LUKA ZAHOVIC):
Luka Zahovic is the son of legendary Slovenian footballer Zlatko Zahovic. Luka Zahovic played for the likes of Valencia, Benfica and Pobrezje during his youth career before joining Maribor in 2009. The talented attacker, who was born in Guimaraes, Portugal on November 15, 1995, scored 13 goals in 45 appearances for Slovenian side in the national championship and in 2015 he moved to Netherlands, signing a three-year-old deal with Heerenveen.
In August, 2016, he returned to Maribor, signing a loan deal with his boyhood club and in May, 2017 he signed a permanent deal with the Violets. Speaking of his international career, Luka Zahovic represented Slovenia U17 at the 2012 European Championship and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 3-1 defeat to Netherlands.
Unlike his father, Luka’s preferred foot is right. His main position is centre-forward, but he is used as a secondary striker as well. Luka Zahovic has a deal with Maribor which should expire on May 31, 2020.
HIGHLIGHTED TEAM (MARIBOR):
Founded in December 1960, Maribor are the most successful Slovenian club. The Violets won their 14th SNL trophy in 2017, with the team finishing the season 13 points clear of second-placed Gorica. Maribor are the only Slovenian club which made it to the UEFA Champions League group stages (2013/2014), but the likes of Chelsea, Schalke and Sporting Lisbon proved to be a big catch for the Slovenian champions.
The Violets collected only three points from possible 18 in the process and four years later they repeated the success, with the team eliminating Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Champions League play-offs. Maribor will face the likes of Spartak Moscow, Sevilla and Liverpool in Group E. Speaking of the club’s main rivals, there have always been fireworks in clashes between Maribor and Olimpija Ljubljana.
The two teams face each other in the “Eternal derby” (Vecni derbi) and they represent the two biggest cities in Slovenia. Maribor are well known for their violet for their violet shirts with yellow stripes. Ljudski vrt is the club’s home ground.
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