Olimpija Ljubljana VS AS Trencin Prediction
NK Olimpija Ljubljana and AS Trencín will kick-off their season 2016-2017 with an encounter in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. “Stadion Stožice” is arena of their clash where in Wednesday evening “Dragons” from Slovenian capital Ljubljana will host in the first leg.
The new Olimpija Ljubljana won its first Slovenian PrvaLiga trophy (as a newly created club) and thus they’ve ended Maribor’s streak from five successive championships.
Slovak champions AS Trencin have won their second ever and also consecutive trophy in Slovak Super Liga, so they’ll have another Champions League attempt, after last year’s elimination by Steaua Bucuresti. Trencin lost in its Champions League debut which was at home (0:2) but they were really close to cause the upset after they took a 0-2 lead in Bucharest. However, final score in the second leg was 2-3 and Steaua reached the next round after 4-3 on aggregate. One year later Trencin will be even more experienced and champions from Slovakia are led by Martin Sevela since 2013, so former defender of the club from western Slovakia had an excellent opportunity to build a team according his preferences.
Curacaoan striker Rangelo Janga is the only summer signing of AS Trencin so far and this speaks that Martin Sevela has pretty good idea about his team and he’s not making any sudden rotations in the set up. Indeed, the 24-year-old striker who impresses with his physical attributes arrived in Trencin from Dutch FC Dordrecht, where he scored 21 goals in 34 games last season. Impressive record and expectations are that he’ll form strong partnership with other key players in Slovak club – Nigerian attacking midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim and another Curacaoan striker in Gino van Kessel’s face. Van Kessel arrived from Ajax Amsterdam and he already has scored 23 goals in 42 league games, as 17 from all goals were scored last season. This made him top scorer of Slovak Super Liga and Gino van Kessel was followed only by his teammate – Matu Bero, who scored 15 goals. This makes the impressive number of 32 league goals scored by both players and that’s not even half of the overall amount from 73 goals scored by AS Trencin in Slovak league. Something which shows how balanced and well-organized Slovak champions really are, as they’ll gain even bigger confidence after last year’s short European experience.
NK Olimpija Ljubljana must use the home advantage in their Champions League debut (club was created in Marh 2005, months after NK Olimpija Ljubljana was dissolved in 2004) and “The Green and Whites” are ambitious to repeat the success of their eternal rivals Maribor, which were constant participants in different European football competitions until last season’s failure. This was first step of Maribor’s drop and Olimpija benefited from that, as they repeated Koper’s success from season 2009-2010 when they have dethroned Maribor.
Olimpija Ljubljana is led by Italian head coach Rodolfo Vanoli who already has enough experience in Slovenian football and he was appointed for head coach of “The Dragons” in April this year. Before his current appointment Vanoli was head coach in Koper (2012-2015), so he has good idea about football in Slovenia. Of course, that’s only part of his past work experience so now Vanoli must justify the credit he received by Olimpija Ljubljana and there are some interesting names in Olimpija’s lineup, undoubtedly.
Rok Kronaveter, Blessing Eleke and summer signing Etien Velikonja are few of the attacking options for Slovenian champions, since club was left by one of the joint top scorers last season – Andraz Sporar joined FC Basel, after scoring 17 goals in 18 league games. This made him goal scorer with his teammate Rok Kronaveter and Maribor’s Jean-Philippe Mendy, but now Rodolfo Vanoli will hope he can find adequate replacement of Sporar in face of Etien Velikonja. The 27-year-old Slovenian striker (former striker of Maribor in period 2011-2012) has netted 28 goals in 40 games for Belgian Lierse last season and this surely sounds promising.
UCL: Olimpija Ljubljana vs AS Trencin – Squads and betting tip
Both teams will hope they can grab the opportunity for reaching the third qualifying round in the Champions League, since the one who is eliminated after this round will be eliminated from the UEFA competitions at all. Winner from the two-legged tie here will have a golden chance to rely on potential Champions League breakthrough, but even if he losses, he won’t be eliminated entirely from European club competitions, since the UEFA Europa League comes as a consolation.
We found some good attacking names in both squads and logically odds on “Both teams to score” represent great value in our eyes. Especially if we consider that one of the key defenders from the home side is ruled out – Nemanja Mitrovic will miss both legs and all games of Olimpija Ljubljana until end of 2016. Bad news for the home team and once again – we find good value in bets for both teams to score in Wednesday night.
Referee: Ali Palabıyık from Turkey.
Venue: “Stadion Stožice”, Ljubljana.
Possible starting squads of NK Olimpija Ljubljana and AS Trenčín
NK Olimpija Ljubljana: Nejc Vidmar – Aljaž Krefl, Dejan Kelhar, Kenan Bajric, Denis Klinar – Darijan Matic, Miha Zajc – Rok Kronaveter, Martin Mimoun, Andraz Kirm – Etien Velikonja. (4-2-3-1)
AS Trencin: Igor Semrinec – Kingsley Madu, Martin Sulek, Lukas Skovajsa, Peter Klescik – Jakub Holubek, Ibrahim Rabiu, Matus Bero, Aliko Bala – Gino Van Kessel, Rangelo Janga. (4-4-2)