Trnava vs Hibernians by Luke
Historically, Spartak Trnava is one of the most successful clubs in Slovakia, having won important Czechoslovak league and Czechoslovak Cup (five times) in past, but also reaching the semi-finals of European Cup once and quarter-finals twice. However, the team is far away from their bright past but still had some notable results in qualifiers for Europa League in last ten years.
They were twice in the play-off round for the group stage, losing to Zurich and Lokomotiv Moscow. The team finished as fourth in the previous Slovakian championship, notably being much better in front of own fans, which surely is their biggest weapon. However, Trnava will be playing this game without fans, while the team didn't have a victory till now in preparation period. They lost to Polish side Termalica 3:0, drew with Vardar Skopje 1:1 and ended the game against Czech side Olomuc with the same score.
In comparison to previous season, defensive midfielder Aldo Beaz (28/1 on loan from Slavia Prague) and central midfielder Robert Jez (13/2, retired in the meantime) will not be playing here, while important loss for this match will be missing of striker Depetris (21/15 in previous season) who didn't renew his contract.
Hibernians didn't manage to repeat more of the same success from season 2014-15 when they were crowned as champions of Malta, having finished this season as second placed side. They lost the title in last rounds of the league, ending it with four points less than champions from Valletta.
One of the biggest characteristic of the team is that they were really strong in attack all season long, having scored 85 goals during thirty-three rounds, which is sixteen more than champions from Valletta for example. Last year the team impressed in the first leg of the second round qualifiers for Champions League, when they won over Maccabi Tel Aviv 2:1, but their game plan completely got destroyed in the second leg, when the team suffered 5:1 defeat, but only being outplayed in last thirty minutes when the team conceded three goals.
The team consists of domestic players plus several Brazilian players and two defenders from Equatorial Guinea. There have been no big transfer moves in regards to the previous season.
No doubt that Trnava remains big favorite to qualify further, however without fans here and with less quality in attack, they might get into this one a bit more cautious. The team didn't impress in their friendly matches and can easily get into troubles against a side that looked more than decent against Israeli champions season ago, for the most of the time.