NK Maribor vs Spartak Moscow
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 13 September 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Having to go through not one or two, but three qualifying rounds, NK Maribor got rewarded with a spot in the Champions League group stage, eliminating Hapoel Beer Sheva in the playoffs. They lost in Israel, 2-1, but that away goal proved to be all the difference between the two teams, as Maribor won 1-0 at home in the return leg. That defeat in Israel is actually their only one in 15 matches since the start of the season. Domestically, they have picked up 18 points in their first eight matches in Slovenia’s championship, sitting second in the table, two points behind leaders Olimpija. Last Friday they drew, unexpectedly, 0-0 at home to Celje.
Five years after their last participation in the Champions League, FC Spartak Moscow are back, being granted a direct ticket to the group stage, after winning the championship in Russia last season. In the transfer window they signed four players, including Croatian central midfielder Mario Pasalic from Chelsea (on loan), and Brazilian left winger Pedro Rocha from Gremio (on the last day of the transfer period). Amazingly, after nine game weeks in Russia’s championship this season, they are no higher than 9th(!), with just 12 points. They did beat Rubin Kazan 1-0 at home last Saturday, but before that, they had picked up just one point in their previous three matches.
Previous five matches:
Maribor vs Celje 0-0
Tabor Sezana vs Maribor 0-3
Olimpija vs Maribor 0-0
Maribor vs Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-0
Maribor vs Krsko 3-2
FC Spartak Moscow vs Rubin Kazan 1-0
SKA Khabarovsk vs FC Spartak Moscow 0-0
FC Spartak Moscow vs Lokomotiv Moscow 3-4
CSKA Moscow vs FC Spartak Moscow 2-1
FC Spartak Moscow vs Arsenal Tula 2-0
Maribor’s next game is at Gorica, on Sunday. Same day, Spartak will be visiting Tosno in the russian football Premier League.
NK Maribor vs Spartak Moscow: Head to head Stats
Maribor and Spartak Moscow have never played against each other before.
NK Maribor vs Spartak Moscow: Prediction
Spartak are considered big favorites to win the game, but despite their win last weekend, their overall picture since the start of the season doesn’t justify that 1.80 their win comes with, I reckon. I’m backing the hosts to earn at least a point.
NK Maribor vs Spartak Moscow: Betting Tips
NK Maribor’s double chance is at 2.00 betting odds, and I consider it a much better bet than Spartak Moscow’s win, at 1.80.
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews:
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- Liverpool vs Sevilla
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- Shakhtar Donetsk vs Napoli
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