Our football match prediction:
By beating the likes of Zrinjski, Hafnarfjordur and Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Champions League qualifiers, Maribor booked their place in the group stages of the elite competition. The Slovenian champions return to the Champions League and, no doubt, fans will pack stadium Ljudski vrt on Wednesday evening when Spartak Moscow come to town. The Violets are tough to beat at home and we predict that they are going to grab something from the match against the Russian champions. Spartak Moscow have been having their ups and downs at the start of the new Russian Premier League campaign and it has to be noted that they struggle at the back. The capital club take on Maribor at Ljudski vrt in the opening match of their Champions League campaign and they are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in Wednesday’s football game. Former Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Luiz Adriano is likely to lead the line for the visitors against Maribor and the opposition back-line should have him at bay. Given the quality of the away team, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the Narodnaya komanda.
Highligted Player (Luka Zahovic):
Luka Zahovic is the son of legendary Slovenian footballer Zlatko Zahovic. Luka Zahovic played for the likes of Valencia, Benfica and Pobrezje during his youth career before joining Maribor in 2009. The talented attacker, who was born in Guimaraes, Portugal on November 15, 1995, scored 13 goals in 45 appearances for Slovenian side in the national championship and in 2015 he moved to Netherlands, signing a three-year-old deal with Heerenveen. In August, 2016, he returned to Maribor, signing a loan deal with his boyhood club and in May, 2017 he signed a permanent deal with the Violets. Speaking of his international career, Luka Zahovic represented Slovenia U17 at the 2012 European Championship and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 3-1 defeat to Netherlands. Unlike his father, Luka’s preferred foot is right. His main position is centre-forward, but he is used as a secondary striker as well. Luka Zahovic has a deal with Maribor which should expire on May 31, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Spartak Moscow):
Spartak Moscow are the most successful club in Russia. The Narodnaya komanda did well to win the Soviet championship on 12 occasions and they won their tenth Russian Premier League title in the 2016/2017 season. Speaking of the club’s European success, Spartak Moscow made it to the European Cup (Champions League) semis in the 1990/1991 season, but Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille proved to be a big catch for the Russian champions. Spartak were beaten by OM 3-1 in Moscow, while suffering a 2-1 loss to the French side in the return leg at Stade Velodrome. The club was founded in 1922 and they are considered as “the people’s team”. Spartak Moscow welcome their rivals at Otkrytie Arena, the stadium which was opened in September 2014. The venue will be called Spartak Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The club’s main rivals are Dynamo Moscow and there have always been fireworks in clashes between the two capital clubs.