Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Dinamo Zagreb will be aiming to kick off their Champions League qualifying campaign in style when they take on Valur at their Stadion Maksimir. Dinamo have established themselves as the dominant force in Croatia, but they were anything but impressive in the 2020/21 HNL season. Anyhow, Damir Krznar’s troops are seen as favourites to win the double-header against the Iceland champions.
Keep in mind, though, that star players Mislav Orsic and Bruno Petkovic are out of contention for the hosts as the duo represented Croatia at EURO 2020 finals. Dominik Livakovic has been omitted as well. Valur, on the other hand, kicked off the new domestic campaign in great manner, with the team leading the chase for the title. However, shocking Dinamo at packed Stadion Maksmiri is easier said than done. Valur key attacker Patrick Pedersen has been struggling with injury of late.
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 (Dinamo Zagreb):
Arguably the biggest club in Croatia and one of the most prominent football outfits in the Balkan region, Dinamo Zagreb have won 18 league titles, 11 of which came successively. Dinamo Zagreb have never been relegated to a lower tier of both Croatian and Yugoslav football.
Modri as they are called in Croatia are renowned for their impressive production line of youth footballers. Their highly organised football academy has so far produced world-class players such as Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca and many others. Dinamo Zagreb play their home matches at the Stadion Maksimir in front of 35,000 people.
The club lacked support during the last couple of seasons due to fans’ disagreement with club management, most notably notorious Zdravko Mamic, who is under investigation for long-lasting corruption, tax evasion and embezzlement. For the first time since 2015, Dinamo Zagreb will have the full support of their most faithful supporters in the Champions League.