Partizan vs Plzen
Many interesting games today in first legs of the R32 Europa League. I have several bets but as one of the most confident, I chose this one between Serbian team, Partizan and Viktoria Plzen from Czech Republic.
I have big respect for visiting team who is best in Czech Republic. They dominates there for years. In last seven seasons they have been four times champions, two times runners up and with one third place. So, clearly Plzen is the team who replaced Sparta Prague as best in that country. Still, last season another team from Prague, Slavia, has won the title while Plzen was second. But in the current season Plzen is back on the winning track. Seems like there is no way anyone will stop them in winning another championship title. Namely, after first part of the season in the domestic league, Viktoria Plzen is a convincing leader with only one played draw and all wins.
I know good this team already from several seasons ago when they met another Serbian side in the Europa League qualifications. It was Vojvodina back then and Viktoria had no major problems to qualify.
What I especially like about them is the fact they played back then only with players from Czech Republic, or say something like 90% of the domestic guys. And they are still kept this way of understanding how to achieve success. So, manly domestic players and you won't see something else there except maybe couple players from Slovakia.
Also, from this season Plzen have new head coach, it's Pavel Vrba, excellent coach who in fact already was in this club. As a matter fact he is the most responsible for raising this club on such level in his first period on their bench during 2008-2013 seasons.
So, with all being said and with fact Czech league is on higher level than Serbian championship, I think Plzen is favorite here to qualify. But looking only this first leg, I got strong impression odds on Partizan are very good value.
Although Partizan compete in weaker league, IMO they are pretty much on the Plzen level or in worst case just slightly weaker. So, we have here IMO two sides who are 50-50 but with home advantage for Partizan in this first game, I don't think the odds should be 50-50 in the first leg. Partizan must be favorite in Belgrade. I hardly can see them losing today's game, especially since this is two meetings aggregate score. Plzen probably will be careful, more focused on defense and quiet satisfied with draw. Probably some minimal defeat for Plzen if they score too, would be something they would gladly accept, counting how in second leg at home can win on aggregate.
Partizan during the winter break has changed it's squad a little bit. Several guys left, some five new arrived. IMO defending Serbian champion is stronger than in first part of the season. Everton has left and now plays in Seria A. This is blow cause he was important player in midfield. But I think Partizan has brought quality players and will look better.
For today's game one of the newcomers, Zdjelar who arrived from Greek Olympiakos, won't be able to play cause he got injured late in preparation period. From other players who were here from earlier, striker Ozegovic also had some minor injury and missed finish of the preparation period. But he has recovered and will be in the competition for starting eleven in this game, only IMO head coach Djukic will leave him on the bench and will go with a little bit different formation. IMO the big guy, Tabamva will be on his usual position in attack while Seydouba Soumah will join him. Soumah by the way is the most paid player in the club history, and also in Serbia in general. He had rough first part of the season, injuries, bad form etc. But something like that was expected since he joined late and was not in pre season with the team. Now is different, now he was with the team during this preparation during winter break and finally showed some of his qualities. He could be very important player for Partizan in the upcoming period.
Partizan also have several members of national team, as Serbian (Tosic and Stojkovic), as national team of Montenegro (Jankovic). The mentioned Tosic, long time member od CSKA Moscow, is the best player of the team and probably the guy with highest reputation among players in Serbian league. The mentioned Stojkovic is a goalkeeper on very high level who knew many times to save Partizan as well Serbian national team.
All in all, Partizan has enough quality to cope with great team like Viktoria Plzen.
A little bit about group stage of Europa League. Partizan was second in it's group, behind Dynamo Kiev. On the other side Plzen topped it's group. Partizan was 2-0-1 at home, with this defeat coming in meeting with strong Dynamo Kiev, 2:3. Note, Partizan was under UEFA suspension back then and thus played behind closed doors, without fans. Also note it wasn't exactly deserved loss. Partizan was 2:0 up early b
Partizan vs Plzen prediction
|Partizan (0)||188bet||1.86||10||1-1 PUSH (Stake return)|