MSK Zilina v FC Copenhagen Betting Tips: Goals aplenty at Stadion pod Dubnom
Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Champions League qualifier between MSK Zilina and FC Copenhagen.
This Champions League qualifier sees the champions of Slovakia host the champions of Denmark as MSK Zilina take on FC Copenhagen.
Last season was fantastic for MSK Zilina as they won their first Slovak title since 2012, breaking the AS Trencin and Slovan Bratislava monopoly that had taken hold in the intervening years. Zilina did actually reach the Champions League Group Stage back in 2010 but lost all six of their matches, conceding 19 goals in the process.
The Shoshons were absolutely incredible at both ends of the pitch in the 2016/17 campaign, scoring 82 (27 more than second-highest goalscorers Ruzomberok) and conceding just 25. However, unfortunately for Zilina, as so often happens with these smaller clubs, they have had their best players poached from the roster. Filip Hlohovsky, who was the league’s top scorer last year, is the biggest loss after departing for Seongnam FC in South Korea.
Adrian Gula’s side had an almost perfect record at home last season, winning all but one of their games at Stadion pod Dubnom in all competitions. Although many will rightly say that the Slovak league is not the toughest around, that statistic still stands out as one of the best in world football.
FC Copenhagen played in the Champions League Group Stage last year and their fans put on some of the best pyrotechnic displays ever seen at a football match. However, the team on the pitch could not repay their supporters’ hard work with results on the pitch as they finished third in Group G. Having said that, they were immense in their domestic league, claiming the Danish title with a massive 22-point gap over nearest challengers and local rivals Brondby IF.
As you would expect from a side that stormed the league, the Lions were excellent in both attack and defence last season with 74 goals scored and just 20 conceded in 36 league games. However, like Wednesday’s opponents Zilina, Copenhagen have had a number of their best players move on to pastures new. However, they have also been able to reinvest that money into the squad with a couple of signings.
Stale Solbakken’s men only won one away match in the Champions League last season, including qualifiers, so it will certainly be interesting to see how they get on against Zilina who, as previously mentioned, have a fantastic home record. Furthermore, Copenhagen failed to win any of their three away league matches towards the back end of last season.
The bookmakers have unsurprisingly gone for the away side here and there can be no doubt that Copenhagen have the better squad on paper. Hlohovsky’s departure from Zilina is a huge loss which could be very telling here. However, we always see a couple of upsets in these Champions League qualifiers and I would not be totally surprised if Zilina got a result here, especially given that stupendous home record. I think we could see a few goals here as both teams are likely to go for it. 2-3 Goals Total is priced at a profitable 21/20.
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