Maribor vs Aberdeen by Isaiah
Maribor was able to do what was needed in the first leg away to Aberdeen and not only that, the Slovenian team comes into the second match at home with a 1:1 draw and much better chances to progress further. Overall, they were defending more and could be more than happy with a draw away to Scotland.
Despite the flow of the game, they have scored the goal first in 83rd minute via Novakovic, but couldn't hold onto the lead and conceded just five minutes later. The team previously progressed over Bulgarian side Levski due to away goal rule, while the league has started in middle of July and they already have played three rounds, surely being more fluid with the ball and in better form overall than their opponents - they surely see these facts as advantage.
With a few players out, the team didn't manage to get a victory away to Domzale last Sunday having a 2:2 draw, but for now all eyes are set on Europe and they don't see it as a big blow. Right full back Matej Palcic is sidelined with a long term injury, without performing early in the season.
Only goal from the home team was scored back in 88th minute, three minutes after the visitors took the lead, so despite their dominance, they could be happy overall that the side didn't lose as it would be much more difficult task now.
It was obvious that the Scottish team needs more time, since they used early phase of qualification here as a preparation period as well, playing less friendlies but starting in Europa League from the first round. They had difficulties eliminating Fola from Luxembourg (3:2 on aggregate), but the things looked better against Latvian side Ventspils (4:0 aggregate score). Aberdeen didn't manage to exploit the chances created in the first leg and will now have much more difficult task since the team needs to aim for a victory here, being satisfied with a higher score draw as well.
Of course, playing their cards on the draw isn't an option really and no doubt that the team will try to get a victory if possible. Central defender Callum Morris who got recently signed from Dundee United, will not be playing here due injury, even though his recovery is nearing it's end. Other than that, the team shouldn't have other problems and will be lined up in a similar way as in the first leg.
- Maribor have drawn their last 3 matches (UEFA Europa League).
Aberdeen, as a bit better side in my eyes here, is forced to attack and it's something that should open up the game. Maribor is far from a naive side and has better chances now, however I don't believe the game will end that easily for them. Defensive lineup of the home team isn't that impressive. I see chances for both teams to score well above 50%.