Arka Gdynia vs Korona Kielce
Competition: Poland Cup
Date: 17 April 2018
Kick-off: 20:30 CET
This may look (and is indeed) a cliché, but Arka Gdynia are really-really-really desperate to win this game, and to qualify for the final. On the last day of the Ekstraklasa regular season, I bet against them, when they visited neighbors Lechia Gdansk, and they lost indeed, actually they got humiliated, failing to finish in the top 8. Last weekend they faced Lechia again, this time at home, and again I bet against them. Second straight defeat to their neighbors, the games against whom are easily the most important of the season for Arka. They are the reigning Cup title-holders, they have lost 2-1 in the first leg, they are just one goal away from qualifying for the final, they have… hurt their fans very-very much the last 10 days, hence the “really-really-really desperate to win” in the first sentence.
In the first leg, I backed Korona Kielce to beat Arka, despite having lost 0-3 to the same team at home earlier in the season, in the Ekstraklasa. Korona won 2-1, but that goal they conceded late in the match has created a whole different situation. On Friday, Korona played without key players at Lech Poznan, on the first day of the “championship round”. Amazingly, they beat leaders Lech 0-1, I repeat, playing without key players, as their coach had obviously (and for good reason) prioritised this Cup match over the game in Poznan. Important detail; Korona have played 11 official matches in 2018, and have lost only one, at Wisla Plock.
Previous five matches:
Arka Gdynia vs Lechia Gdansk 1-2
Lechia Gdansk vs Arka Gdynia 4-2
Korona Kielce vs Arka Gdynia 2-1
Arka Gdynia vs Legia Warsaw 1-0
Jagiellonia Bialystok vs Arka Gdynia 3-2
Lech Poznan vs Korona Kielce 0-1
Slask Wroclaw vs Korona Kielce 1-1
Korona Kielce vs Arka Gdynia 2-1
Korona Kielce vs Lechia Gdansk 1-0
Korona Kielce vs Gornik Zabrze 2-2
Arka’s next game is at Sandecja Nowy Sacz, on Sunday. Korona will be hosting Jagiellonia Bialystok (both Poland Ekstraklasa matches).
Arka Gdynia vs Korona Kielce: Head to head Stats
A goalless draw and a 4-1 Arka triumph in Gdynia in 2017. Before that, Arka hadn’t hosted Korona since 2013 (another triumph for the hosts, 5-1, in a Cup match).
Arka Gdynia vs Korona Kielce: Prediction
Arka are with their back against the wall. They would be either way, after that 2-1 defeat in Kielce, but the fact that they lost to neighbors Lechia twice in a week, has really… charged the atmosphere in Gdynia, I expect them to look ready to bleed, if needed, to win this game. On the other hand, I consider Korona a better team, I would go that far as to call them a “much better team” than Arka, they have lost just once in 2018, and I doubt they will let this golden opportunity slip through their hands.
Arka Gdynia vs Korona Kielce: Betting Tips
“Korona to score” pays just 1.36, low, but I really can’t imagine the Kielce side not scoring in this game. Even if Arka score first and tighten up their defence, Korona are so gifted offensively that they should still get at least one goal back. Their double chance is at 1.53, and their win in “draw no bet” pays 2.15. Deep down I do expect them to win, scoring first, and totally “breaking” Arka, whose morale is already shattered.
More Poland Cup betting tips and match previews:
- Legia Warsaw vs Gornik Zabrze