Saturday, July 13, 2024

Prediction: Flora vs Celje

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 9 Jul 2024

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 43/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Slovenian team Celje will head to the Estonian capital for their Champions League qualifying match against Flora on Wednesday.

The winner over the two legs will advance to the second qualifying round to face either Slovan Bratislava or Struga.

Flora

Flora are set to make their second consecutive appearance in Champions League qualifying after securing the Meistriliiga title last season.

Jurgen Henn departed as manager at the end of the season, allowing Norbert Hurt to begin his second tenure as Flora’s manager.

Hurt will be disappointed with Flora’s current league performance, as they sit in third place, 15 points behind leaders Levadia with 16 games remaining.

In their latest match, Hurt’s team lost 1-0 to Levadia, ending a seven-game unbeaten streak to help, obviously without meaning to do so, the league-topping side in their efforts to win the title.

Now shifting focus to European competition, Flora will be aiming for a better outcome than last season’s 4-0 aggregate defeat to Rakow in the first round of Champions League qualifying. A victory over Celje would certainly represent a good start on that front.

Team News

Flora left-back Marco Lukka is expected to return to the starting lineup after being benched for Thursday’s loss to Levadia.

Mark Anders Lepik will be a key attacking threat for the home side, having scored 17 goals in 24 competitive matches this season.

Celje

While Flora are in the midst of their season, Celje will officially kick off their 2024/25 campaign when they take to the pitch at Lillekula Stadium in Tallinn.

Celje will have fond memories of the previous season, having accumulated 79 points from 36 matches to secure the Slovenian PrvaLiga title for only the second time in their history.

Thanks to their league performance, Celje are now set to participate in Champions League qualifying for the first time since the 2020/21 season. During their last appearance, they defeated Dundalk but were then eliminated by Norwegian side Molde in the second qualifying round.

Celje are still aiming to make their first main draw appearance in a major UEFA competition after narrowly missing out in last season’s Europa Conference League.

Team News

The visitors are likely to travel to Tallinn without right-back Zan Karnicnik, who recently completed his duties with Slovenia at Euro 2024, as the national side lost on penalties to Portugal in the round of 16.

Aljosa Matko is set to lead the attack after netting 20 goals in 32 competitive matches last season.

Conclusion

Celje won two of their last three European away matches, proving that the support of the stadium majority isn’t too significant for them, and they’re likely to build on that success and defeat a Flora, side that has lost each of their last four matches in Champions League qualifying.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 43/100

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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