Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Dinamo Zagreb will be aiming to recover from a heart-breaking Champions League loss to AEK Athens when they face Sparta Prague in the Europa League qualifier on Thursday. The Blues were not in action in the Croatian HNL at the weekend, meaning that tired legs should not prove to be a big problem for the home side. It has to be noted that key midfielder Luka Ivanusec is one yellow card away from suspension.
The Czechs, on the other hand, were more than unfortunate not to eliminate Copenhagen in the Champions League third qualifying round, with the team losing the tie one penalties. Sparta Prague and Dinamo Zagreb, though, seem to be evenly matched at the moment, leading us to predict a deadlock in the first leg with both teams likely to settle for a share of the points. As for the away team, Denmark defender Casper Hojer remains in the recovery room.
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.