Botev Plovdiv vs Maritimo Prediction, Preview, Lineups and Betting Tips
Botev Plovdiv turns back to Burgas, where “The Canaries” are playing their home games in the UEFA Europa League, for a clash against Portuguese Maritimo on Thursday night, 27 July 2017. Maritimo will be third opponent for Botev who have already eliminated Partizani Tirana and Beitar Jerusalem, while “The Green-and-Reds” from Madeira are set to begin their European journey from round three of the Europa League qualifying.
UEFA Europa League: Botev Plovdiv vs Maritimo 27.07.2017
Maritimo returns to European football after five years of waiting and finishing sixth in the 2016-17 Primeira Liga season. Squad led by Daniel Ramos (who has been appointed in September 2016) finished on a point over Rio Ave and on two above Feirense, guaranteeing one of the Europa League spots for Maritimo. However, the club from Funchal (capital of Madeira) made huge rotations this summer – 11 new players arrived at the “Estádio do Marítimo” against 9 who have joined other clubs.
Some first-team players who have left Maritimo are both centre-backs Raúl Silva and Deyvison, right-back Patrick, winger Brito, midfielders Fransergio and Alex Soares, as well as the top scorer Dyego Sousa (5 league goals in 15 games).
All new names who must have a sudden impact over the team will play their first official game against Botev and that’s perhaps the biggest disadvantage for Maritimo. “The Green-and-Reds” played their last friendly match on Saturday when they drew against Las Palmas (1:1), where the summer signing Rodrigo Pinho (arrived from Braga) scored for Maritimo.
On other hand Botev gained momentum not only in previous Europa League rounds, but in the domestic league as well. The Bulgarian First League began two weeks ago, meaning that Botev have already played six competitive fixtures in the 2017-18 season. So far so good – Botev Plovdiv eliminated Partizani Tirana (winning 1:3 in Albania and 1:0 in Burgas), but surely the most impressive performance came against Israeli Beitar Jerusalem last round – 4:0 victory in Burgas. It has been preceded by a draw (1:1) in Israel, but “The Canaries” were brilliant in the second leg and proved they feel great in Burgas, where Botev can actually gather much more spectators than on its current home ground near Plovdiv – a small training complex used while Botev’s main stadium is reconstructed. Although distance between Burgas and Plovdiv is around 250 km’s, that’s an extremely attractive location for everyone since Burgas is located on southern seaside and many fans are mixing the Europa League nights with a vacation on the beach.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Initially Maritimo had a flight from Madeira to Lisbon which has been delayed due to heavy wind on the island. Now the Portuguese side is already in Bulgaria where Daniel Ramos will use a group of 19 men, including three goalkeepers. Besides injured Armenian winger Gevorg Ghazaryan, other absentees are Fabio China, Coronas, Fabio Pacheco and Everton.
Botev Plovdiv travelled to Burgas after a weekend commitment in Sofia, where “The Canaries” won 2:3 vs Slavia on Sunday evening. Coach Nikolay Kirov can be pleased with the attacking display of his men and mostly by Brazilian forward Fernando Viana who netted a brace in that game. Thus Viana is expected to start on top of Botev’s attack, whilst key players Todor Nedelev and Omar Kossoko can push from second position. Someone among Toni Tasev and Krum Stoyanov will start as a left winger, so we expect a trio behind Viana built by Stoyanov, Kossoko, and Nedelev.
Rotations, compared to the weekend match vs Slavia, are also likely at the back where Ivan Cvorovic should replace Daniel Kajzer between the sticks, Plamen Dimov will start as a centre-back alongside Viktor Genev, while experienced full-back Yordan Minev will start at Lazar Marin’s expense.
Botev Plovdiv vs Maritimo Prediction and Betting Tips
Maritimo are considered for favourites by the bookies, however odds on the away side have already jumped from 1.80-1.90 to 2.40-2.50 on the match’s eve. That’s most likely influenced by the strong performance of Botev against Beitar Jerusalem and from fact they already have decent match experience in the past month. Moreover, Botev Plovdiv plays with the squad that won the 2017 Bulgarian Cup in a direct duel vs Ludogorets Razgrad just two months ago.
Maritimo will have to be more cautious in Bulgaria and as we mentioned that will be their first competitive game for a long time. Last official match of Maritimo was more than two months ago (0-0 vs Paços de Ferreira on 20 May), while last away win of Maritimo was early in January – 0:1 vs Estoril. This shows that Maritimo isn’t so stable when travelling and it basically remains their only away success since mid-October.
Few good arguments why we do believe that Botev Plovdiv might benefit from the lack of match practice in Maritimo, as well as from all changes in the Portuguese club. We recommend betting on Botev Plovdiv with the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) option. If the game ends with a draw – you’ll get your money back!
Possible Lineups of Botev Plovdiv and Maritimo
Venue: “Stadion Lazur”, Burgas.
Referee: Bojan Pandzic from Sweden.
Botev Plovdiv: Ivan Cvorovic – Tsvetomir Panov, Plamen Dimov, Viktor Genev, Yordan Minev – Yaya Meledje, Lachezar Baltanov – Todor Nedelev, Omar Kossoko, Krum Stoyanov – Fernando Viana. (4-2-3-1)
CS Marítimo: Charles – Luís Martins, Maurício, Zainadine Junior, Bebeto – Erdem Sen – Edgar Costa, Eber Bessa, Jean Cleber, Ricardo Valente – Rodrigo Pinho. (4-1-4-1)