Brest vs Atromitos
Brest had a really positive previous season, as they finished the league on the fourth position. They even won the Cup competitions for two seasons in a row now, managing to secure European exit via secondary domestic competition.
New season started even better, as they won the Super Cup match winning against BATE, however the things became much more difficult very soon. After seventeen rounds played, the side is only at seventh position with 6-8-3 record. They are eight points behind third placed Vitebsk, while the side has no victory in last two rounds. Their most recent game was last Saturday evening when they visited Luch Minsk and took just a point in a 1:1 draw.
Home team opened up the scoreline in 22nd minute via Khankevich, while Noyok replied back only ten minutes later. Even though the visitors looked better in second, it wasn't enough to completely revert the scoreline. Generally, their defensive lineup seems to be too unreliable for the standards of their league as the side have conceded twenty one goal so far, definitely high even for some teams involved in the relegation battle.
This will be third appearance in Europe for Brest, as the side previously got excluded both teams in first rounds of play against Liepajas Metalurgs eleven years ago and to Altach with a 1:4 aggregate score last season in second round of Europa League qualifiers.
The side probably did improve their roster over the transfer window, as they signed offensive midfielder Krivets from Arka Gdynia, but also striker Khoblenko from Chernomorets, defensive midfielder Noyok from Dinamo Minsk and central back Duarte from Guimaraes B. Some efforts are done for their improvement in the domestic competitions, however they stay still far away from the Europa League group stage level.
Atromitos had a realistically decent previous season when the team finished at fourth position. They were really close to reach third placed Olympiakos which ended up with a point more than them. In any way, no doubt that the club is going for similar targets this season and could really benefit in case they fight out Europa League group stage which surely is their dream for European duties.
They had four friendly matches so far, winning in the first one against Austria Lustenau 1:2 and having three draws later on. They had a draw against Zurich and Grasshoppers, also having a goalless match against AEK Athens last Saturday afternoon in the last rehearsal before this clash.
Atromitos didn't manage to make a real step into the European competitions so far, managing to win over their first obstacle only last season for the first time in the history. They progressed over AIK in third qualifying round for Europa League, but playing against Fenerbahce was simply too much for them.
Few players were signed till now on the free transfer, including goalkeeper Megyeri from Furth, central back Risvanis from Olympiakos, also defensive midfielder Garoufalias from Giannina and forward Nsikulu from Platanias. Goalkeeper Gianniotis left the club for Olympiakos, striker Dauda went to Giresunspor, while offensive Diguiny left for Aris. Overall, they should be of the similar quality.
Brest wants to improve overall and that's one of the reasons why they signed Maradona as club's chairman, however it's difficult see to see any bigger improvement coming that soon. Their defensive line doesn't look reliable even for the standards of their domestic league, while there's no real individual quality to make so much needed difference.
Atromitos is still very early in the season, their domestic league will be starting in close to a month from now on. However, I still see them as at least narrow favorites in the first leg already. They are having plenty of international players with experience and exactly know how to play to get the right result in such situations. Draw can not be excluded, but there's no doubt for me that the Greek side remains closer to obtain important victory here.
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Brest vs Atromitos prediction
Atromitos 0 Asian handicap @ 1.90 with Unibet