Dinamo Zagreb vs. Maribor: Champions League Betting Preview
Five more Champions League play-off first legs on Wednesday and my attention is drawn to the clash in Zagreb.
Hosts Dinamo entertain the Slovenian side Maribor in the Croatian capital and just 120km separates these two former Yugoslav rivals.
There is sure to be a terrific atmosphere at the Maksimir with a place in the lucrative group stage the prize and it is the home team that are tipped to emerge triumphant.
Dinamo qualified for the tournament proper last year and, despite six defeats in as many matches, they will have learnt plenty from that experience.
With wins in each of their last seven matches, including both legs of the previous round against Moldova’s Sheriff, Dinamo are now unbeaten in 28 games and their superior quality can see them establish a lead after 90 minutes.
Dinamo coach Ante Cacic will be hoping Brazilian Sammir can continue his prolific start to the new campaign, which has seen the midfielder bag five goals in as many domestic matches, but he relies strongly on a group of home-based Croats and they should be too good.
Visitors Maribor contested the Europa League last season but their was little to cheer about, registering just a solitary in a section containing Birmingham City, Sporting Braga and Club Brugge, and coach Darko Milanic has recognised his side are up against it in the pre-match build-up.
Milanic’s side are on a decent run themselves, unbeaten since March, but the Slovenian league doesn’t come up to scratch and they are unlikely to cope with the huge step up in class posed by Wednesday’s opponents.
3pts Back Dinamo Zagreb (vs. Maribor) @ 1.62 (Coral)
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