Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
After a dreary goalless stalemate in the first leg Europe League Third round qualifying match, FK Zalgiris and NS Mura convened for the second leg on Thursday in the LFF Stadionas.
The winner of this duel secures his place in the playoff round against Sturm Graz for the chance of entering the group stage.
Prediction for this match
There were no goals in the tense encounter between Zalgiris and Mura in the first duel of the third qualifying round, but the network wave was hardly an issue for the hosts in the last league game this week.
In a very ideal warm-up for the second leg on Thursday, Zalgiris won 3-0 against Banga on Monday in the Lithuanian top division as Josip Tadic, Jakub Sylvestr and 18 years old Gustas Jarusevicius got the gates that drove forward Vladimir Cheburin‘s men back where they belong at the top of the pile.
The eight-time A Lyga champion is very rarely kept in check continentally and nationally – he scored six goals in his four Champions League qualifiers before being sent in by Ferencvaros – and they can comfort themselves in the fact that they did not fail have scored a goal in every home competition since July 2020.
Such skill in front of goal makes Mura’s goal in the first leg all the more impressive, but Cheburin’s team have found the end of the net in each of the last 24 games at the LFF stadiums before a possibly historic evening an appearance in the playoff round would be theirs best run in a European competition.
In contrast, Mura doesn’t seem to be getting over the line in any competition at the moment, as her winless run spanned all tournaments into seven games with a 1-1 draw at Aluminij on Sunday.
Mitja LotricThe kick off for Mura was canceled after just 10 minutes of Haris Kadric while Mura’s miserable start to the title defense continued, with the Slovenian defending champion losing two draws and two of the first four league games, finishing second overall.
Not since their Champions League first-round endeavors Ante SimundzaThe team has won every competition – a 6-0 aggregate win over Shkendija – and even then they only managed to score once away before hitting five on their own turf.
Unlike her opponents, Mura already has experience in the Europa League playoff round – a 2012-13 game that ended in a 5-1 aggregate loss to Lazio – but whichever team reaches the final hurdle will undoubtedly be hold the underdog day against Sturm Graz.
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Zalgiri’s right-back Marko Karamoko continues to recover from a fracture, a start for the 37-year-old Saulius Mikoliunas – who is banned for their next league match – is guaranteed.
Unsurprisingly, Cheburin announced the changes for his side’s clash against Banga, and Mikoliunas would be one of three defensive changes alongside goalkeeper Edvinas Gertmonas and center-back Nemanja Ljubisavljevic.
Tadic has made another start with his goal at the weekend and could defeat Sylvestr despite the 32-year-old’s own goal in the league.
Mura coach Simundza, meanwhile, has stepped away from his three-man defense to set up a 4-2-3-1 at the weekend – which didn’t pay off – but he could choose to believe in that offensive setup, when guests go in search of goals.
Lotric should keep his place Luka Bobicanec in number 10 after his goal against Aluminij while Tomi Horvat and Alen Kozar hope to be reintroduced to midfield.
FK Zalgiri’s possible starting line-up:
Gertmonas; Mikoliunas, Ljubisavljevic, Diaw, Bopesu; Uzela, Verbickas, Onazi; Kyeremeh, Tadic, Videmont
NS Mura possible starting line-up:
Obradovic; Karnicik, Marusko, Gorenc, Sturm; Horvat, Kozar; Kous, Lotrisch, Mandisch; Marosa
Probability: FK Zalgiris 2-0 NS Mura (2-0 against Zalgiris in total)
The first leg was as close as many expected, but Zalgiris are the ones who have the wind in their sails from a far superior domestic record.
With Mura potentially setting up a more attack-oriented line-up in hopes of outperforming their hosts, Zalgiris’ stronger strikers should take advantage and catapult the A Lyga champions into the playoffs for the first time.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com predict a double chance bet on a home win or a draw in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Home / Draw: data