NK Maribor is arguably the hottest team in the Slovenian championship, leading the tables after three rounds, winning the Super Cup and playing for a place in the Champions League. They can get one step closer to their objective by winning the second leg against APOEL Nicosia, often drawing 1-1 in Cyprus.
Bet: NK Maribor
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 2.43
NK Maribor won the championship last season and crushed Olimpia in the Super Cup, after two less than stellar friendly games. In the previous round, they played defensively away at Birkirkara but left the Maltese no chance in the second leg. This is the outcome we should expect from this fixture, as the visitors are mired in a long winless streak and seem incapable of scoring goals. Esmael Goncalves will spearhead the offensive with five midfielders trying to provide him with useful balls.
The strategy worked smoothly in the first half of the game played in Cyprus, but even then NK Maribor came from behind and dominated the second part of the game. Coach Cacic will use three strikers tonight and this is a clear indication that the Slovenian team won’t take the risks of playing for a scoreless draw. Before drawing away from home to APOEL, Maribor scored 11 goals in three games while conceding just one, so it is fair to assume that if they take an early lead will prevent the visitors from tying the score.
APOEL Nicosia is only a shadow of the team that took everyone by surprise two years ago in the Champions League. Pinnacle Sports offers terrific odds of 2.43 for NK Maribor to win which is great value for such a lopsided qualifier.