TNS vs Shkendija
TNS became champions of Wales in quite an easy style last season. The team has ended the league with fourteen points difference in comparison to second placed Bangor City. With only four losses during the season and eighty-three goals scored (which is thirty-gour more than second placed and second best attack in the league) they did impress within domestic borders.
However, obviously that those things aren't enough to be really competitive in European competitions. In the first leg away in Skopje they were completely outplayed and suffered 5:0 defeat. It's already obvious that the team is excluded from Champions League qualifiers and they can't do much but to present themselves in bit better image.
Also, to improve form before the domestic league starts. The team will certainly continue their European duties with Europa League second qualifying round where they will meet against Lincoln Red Imps and are true favorites to reach the third qualifying round.
Changes are expected in their team after the first leg and confirmed by their manager earlier these days. Out of more important transfers, offensive midfielder Daniel Redmond came from Hamilton (Scotland), plus couple of more from UK based players.
Shkendija was extremely dominant last season in First League of FYR of Macedonia, as the side ended up at the top of the table with thirty five points more than second placed Vardar that did invest more in the squad in recent years. With twenty nine wins, only four draws and three defeats they were arguably the best side in the country.
They ended up the league with five consecutive victories, but also confirmed the domination with a victory in domestic Cup finals where they overpowered Pelister easily late in May with 3:0 result. Out of more noticable results in friendlies, the side managed to win over Ukrainian team Vorskla Poltava 3:1.
First leg saw them easily outplaying the side from UK, as it was quite obvious already in the first halftime that they were no competition to them. They took the double lead in first halftime thanks to goals from Emini and Ibraimi, while the latter scored three more goals from 53rd to 66th minute in second halftime.
They didn't improve squad much ahead of the new season, signing only central defenders Visar Musliu (from Prishtina), Konstantin Chemshmedjiev (from Akademija Pandev) and right winger Omar Imeri from Shkupi.
- Shkendija scored at least three goals in last four competitive matches, without conceding a single one.
Shekdnija completely outplayed the opponent in the first leg and quality difference was more than obvious. Since it's very early in the season and they need matches as well to hit the right form, but also the fact that it's a rare chance to present themselves in the best possible manner, I see them being fully motivated here as well.
TNS vs Shkendija prediction
Shkendija Wins @ 1.99 with Pinnacle