Our prediction for this Champions League match:
Against all odds, Saburtalo eliminated Sheriff in the Champions League first qualifying round. The Georgian champions are determined to claim yet another major scalp in the qualifiers, but Dinamo Zagreb are likely to pose a much bigger threat for Giorgi Tchiabrishvili’s troops than their previous rivals. The Croatian champions missed out on a place in the Champions League last season, with the team losing to Young Boys in the play-offs and, no doubt, they are determined to regain their spot in the group stages of the elite competition.
Dinamo Zagreb are more of a team than Saburtalo and seeing that the Georgians experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-1 loss to Sheriff in front of home fans, we are tempted to put our money on the Croatian side. A man to watch in the away team will be Spanish midfielder Daniel Olmo, who impressed at the U21 European Championship earlier this summer.
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.