FC Struga to grab home advantage

FC Struga to grab home advantage

FC Struga is aiming to make use of their advantage playing at home against FK Zalgiris, as they aim to inch closer to Champions League qualification. This is already the second leg of the first qualifying round, with their first leg ended in a goalless draw. Since the first leg between Struga and Zalgiris ended in a draw, that makes this match more crucial for the two squads. Struga is a team who never qualified in the contest, making them eager to win in this match. Meanwhile, Zalgiris is a more successful team in the contest, since they were able to reach the third round last season. Struga and Zalgiris first met each other during the first leg of their first qualifying round. The meeting between these two teams is on July 18, 2023, at 11:00 PM (GMT+8).

FC Struga

Champions League Qualifiers: FC Struga
Photo courtesy of FC Struga

During the first leg of their series, it is obvious that FC Struga is really struggling, considering that it was their first competitive match of the season. This squad only have four attempts on goals, and only two of which are on target. Moreover, this is just the second time that Struga qualified in the European qualifiers, with their first did not end well. They were able to qualify in the Conference League qualifiers last season, but were eliminated in the first round. Moreover, ever since they concluded their 2022-23 season, they have yet to score a win. In fact, ever since their season ended, they already played three matches, but are winless in those three matches. Additionally, despite playing at home, they were not able to make use of that advantage. They are winless in their last two home games, and are hoping to overturn that result here.

Since Besart Ibraimi is ineffective during the first leg, there might be a little changes for them in their starters. He may be replaced by Valentin Kocoski, who could be a help for Struga in keeping their pace. Moreover, Radic and Neziri’s partnership are evident during the first leg, so expect their combination to be unchanged here.

FK Zalgiris

Champions League Qualifiers: FK Zalgiris
Photo grabbed from Twitter (@fkzalgiris)

Zalgiris’ biggest advantage coming into this game is their experience when it comes to the qualifiers. Unlike their opponent, they were able to reach until the third round of the qualifiers last season. However, they do not have a good momentum coming into this game, as they ended their winning run. Last season, Zalgiris was able to qualify in the Europa Conference League. That qualification made them the first team from Lithuania to do so. It gives them confidence coming into this game, as they will try to reach the Champions League once again. A win here is not impossible though, as they are unbeaten in their last nine matches, winning six. In those six wins, they were able to keep four clean sheets, which just proves what they are capable of. Moreover, when it comes to away matches, it seems like they are doing well, as they won all their last four games on the road.

Yury Kendysh is expected to lead Zalgiris in this match, considering that he is the best player on the pitch during the first leg. Moreover, Edvinas Gertmonas is also returning in this match, as his withdrawal during their friendly against Tirana is not related to injury.


FK Zalgiris (2.0)
Odds: -0.86

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