Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier at Stadion Maksimir pits together Dinamo Zagreb and Legia, the two teams who meet for the first time ever in the elite competition. Dinamo chiefs did well to keep hold of star players in the summer transfer window, and, no doubt, both Petkovic and Orsic will make life difficult for the opposition defenders. Since the Croatian have turned their Stadion Maksimi into a real fortress, we believe that home win should be considered.
Ivanusec has overcome his injury, but Ademi is unlikely to feature in the first leg. The Poles, on the other hand, faced no difficulties in the double-header against Flora, but they face an uphill task in Wednesday’s showdown. Legia midfielder Bartosz Kapustka has been struggling with injury of late, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the home side.
Highlighted Player (Kévin Théophile-Catherine):
Born in Saint-Brieuc, France, on October 28, 1989, Kevin Theophile-Catherine is a defender who plays for Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Theophile-Catherine started his youth career at Rennes and he continued playing for les Rouges et Noirs at senior level.
After scoring two goals in 98 appearances for the club from 2009 to 2013, he moved to Cardiff City in the 2013/2014 season, signing a four-year contract with the Bluebirds. After ending his loan spell with Saint-Etienne, he signed a permanent deal with les Verts in 2015 for a fee of £1.5 million.
The Dinamo Zagreb footballer has one cap with France U21 team, while making four appearances for the U20 team. His main position is centre-back, but he is capable of playing as both right and left back as well. His preferred foot is right and his contract with Dinamo Zagreb should expire on June 30, 2020. Theophile-Catherine made his debut for Dinamo Zagreb in a 2-1 win over Osijek on August 17, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Legia):
Legia is a football club based in Warsaw and it is one of the most successful sides in Polish history. The Militarians – as they are commonly referred to in Poland – have won 11 Ekstraklasa Championship title, while they also hold the record-18 Polish Cup trophies and four Polish SuperCup matches.
Founded as the main official football club of the Polish Army, Legia Warsaw are playing theirhome matches at the Polish Army Stadium which can accommodate 31,000 people. Legia have endured mixed fortunes at the international scene with the Polish giants regularly participating in Europa League, with four group inclusions over the last six years. The Militarians headed into the 2016-17 season feeling buoyed and motivated having succeeded in ending the 20-year Champions League wait, becoming the first Polish team to take part in Europe’s elite competition over the last two decades.
The 3-1 aggregate playoff victory over Irish Dundalk earned them a place in the final showpiece with Legia being thrown into a heavy mix with the likes of Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund and European champions Real Madrid.