UEFA Champions League/ Valur (Isl) vs Maribor (Slo) – Slovenian clubs didn’t lose a single match to Iceland counterparts out of seven played in UEFA’s competitions but this year’s clash between two national champions in the 1st qualifying round of the Champions League could be uncertain till the very end. Valur and Maribor have never met before.
Game Valur vs Maribor begins 10.07.2019 at 22:00 CET
Valur is Iceland champion in last two season but it is not doing well this year in the Iceland championship where will hardly defend the title. After 12 matches Valur occupies mere fifth place, with 5 wins, 1 draw and six defeats, and lags behind leading Reykjavik for even 13 points.
Valur plays a bit better lately and it won last three matches, or four out of last five matches in the Iceland first division. They won Akureyri 3-1 in the last round, and they lost the only time in last five rounds to leading Reykjavik 3-2 some 20 days ago. Scorers for Valur were Sigurdsson and Finsen.
Probable lineups Valur: Halldorson, Adolphsson, Bartalstovu, Finsen, Hedlund, Pedersen, Petry, Saevarsson, Sigurbjornsson, H. Sigurdsson, K. Sigurdsson.
Maribor has again won the title of Slovenian champion that it had to concede to Olimpija Ljubljana one year before. They won 78 points from 36 matches, or 9 more than Olimpija, to which they nevertheless lost in the final of Slovenian Cup by 1-2.
Maribor didn’t exactly make a name for itself in preparatory matches; it lost to Akhmat, Slovacko and Cracovia, but in the last match they defeated Gorica from Slovenia by sound 4-1. Maribor played twice in the group phase of the Champions League, the last time in 2017/18 when they eliminated in the 3rd qualifying round the Iceland champion, Hafnarfjordar. The Slovenians won both legs by 1-0.
Probable lineups Maribor: Piric, Hotic, Ivkovic, Klinar, Kramaric, Kronaveter, Pericic, Pihler, Viler, Mesanovic, Vrhovec.
Betting Pick: Valur vs Maribor
Valur was eliminated last year by Norwegian Rosenborg, whom they won by 1-0 at home but in the second leg they were defeated by 1-3. Given that the Iceland championship is ongoing it can be expected that Valur is in better shape than Maribor and can put up a good resistance. We would play on draw.
Odds: 3.60 at bet365 (down to 3.40 can be played)
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