Zaglebie vs Partizan by DamirJ
Zaglebie did what was needed in the first leg and obviously what they wanted, as the team looked very defensive during all ninety minutes and obviously wanted to escape the game with a clean sheet. In comparison to what we saw, it's probably best possible outcome for the Polish side, as they looked like completely outplayed at some moments and a victory for Partizan would have been much more fairer outcome.
However, their approach in the first leg isn't something to be surprised about, since the team many times plays very defensively away from home, but shows completely different face in front of own fans. Similar was seen in the first Europa League qualifying round, when the team suffered 1:0 narrow defeat in Sofia against Slavia, but then easily progressed into the second round with a 3:0 home victory. Their league has started during the weekend and the players of Zaglebie easily won over Korona Kielce 4:0 on Sunday evening, thanks to goals from Piatek (twice), Janus and Dabrowski.
I have no doubts that the Polish side will be playing much more open this time, trying to make dangerous situations in front of opponents goal from the first minute, which should open up the game in a much better way than what we saw in Belgrade. Their striker Michal Papadopulos (35 matches, 18 goals last season) got red carded in the first game and is suspended for this one.
Players of Partizan probably felt that they deserved something more out of the match, missing few really great chances during the ninety minutes, but at the same time it was obvious that they still need some extra time in order to start playing even more fluently as a team. However, for this stage of Europa League, they looked good enough, however will need to improve their final touch in front of opponents goal.
Some small problems regarding their fitness and form were obvious, however it's normal for this part of the season. Serbian league is set to start this weekend, so the team is still fresh in the new season, but should be going into the right direction by each game. They shouldn't give up of their offensive play and one way or another, this one should be more open than the previous game played in Belgrade.
As for the team news, Serbian side has no fresh problems regarding injuries, while striker Valeri Bojinov (31 matches, 18 goals last season) isn't part of this team, but the team doesn't see it as a blow, since coach Tomic believes he has better options in the roster and Bulgarian might be forced to find a new club in next weeks.
As already said, I believe Zaglebie will be playing in much more offensive way this time. Polish side is known for more attacking approach in front of own fans, but knowing that Partizan still remains as a more quality team, I believe both teams scoring remains valuable bet here. Serbian side might be small favorites to progress, but my choice remains with the goal option here.