Birkirkara will make another attempt at securing a place in the Champions League groups, but the road ahead is long and begins with a double legged round against Maribor. Their opponents won the domestic championship last season and recently defeated cup winners Olimpija to win the Super Cup.
Bet: Over 2.5
Odds: Skybet 1.80
So far, no team from Malta played in the Champions League and the odds for Birkirkara to break the ice are remote, with several opponents to deal with en route to the groups. They finished on the third place in the domestic league, but this doesn’t mean much given the fact that their opponents are mostly amateurs. At least on paper, the hosts appear to be a solid team, undefeated in six months and winning plenty of home games. Even so, coach Zammit will play conservative football and start with a 4-4-2 formation featuring Jhonnattann and Shodiya upfront, players who were acquired from Brazil and Nigeria.
Maribor could easily focus on the second leg, as they have all the attributes to secure qualification in front of their fans. Boosted by recent success and with an offensive that gave Olimpija no chance in the Super Cup, they might be tempted to finish off their opponent in Malta. Five players scored in the last two victories, so the visitors have plenty of options and will give Birkirkara’s defense a run for its money.
Whenever a team from Malta is playing in a Champions League qualification match, punters are instinctively backing the opponent. While Maribor is the overwhelming favorite to win tonight, the odds for a straight victory are not satisfying as they hold no value. Skybet has a better proposition and offers odds of 1.80 for more than 2.5 goals to be scored.