Preview: Legia Warsaw v Dinamo Zagreb
Sports Mole provides an overview of Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Legia Warsaw and Dinamo Zagreb, including predictions, squad news and possible lineups.
With the level of scores after last week’s first leg, Dynamo Zagreb visit Legia Warsaw at Stadion Wojska Polskiego on Tuesday, seeking to seal the progress of the penultimate stage of the Champions League qualifiers.
Although a hotly contested opening fixture left the third qualifying round in the balance, the Croatian champions are hoping for a fourth group stage appearance in seven years.
Trouble off the pitch preceded Dinamo Zagreb’s final step up the ladder towards a potential Champions League qualification, as ugly scenes erupted in the Croatian capital last week when their infamous ‘Bad Blue’ ultras Boys ”clashed with Legia Warsaw fans ahead of the first leg at Stadion Maksimir.
As more than 200 people fought with batons, throwing stones and flares, on the pitch it turned out to be a more civilized affair with Dinamo held to a 1-1 draw. Although the Modri took the lead in the 60th minute, thanks to a Bruno Petkovic goal, Legia Ernest Muci equalized in the last minutes of a match that the coach Damir krznar later claimed that they should have won.
After having had several opportunities to extend their lead to 2-0, Dinamo’s frustration will at least be tempered by the fact that an away goal no longer counts double in the event of an aggregate draw – a situation which, according to Krznar, will promote more attacking football.
Whatever the result against Legia this week, last season’s Europa League quarter-finalists have already secured a place in the continental competition this fall, as if they came back from Poland with a positive result they would qualify for a match against the Red Star of Belgrade or Sheriff of the Moldovan club.
The winner of this tie would be awarded a place in the group stage of the Champions League; the losing a place in the playoffs of the Europa League. In fact, if the Croatian club were to lose in those qualifiers next, they would at least receive the grim consolation prize of a Conference League campaign.
Winners of the national title for four consecutive seasons, Dinamo kicked off their qualifying campaign with four straight wins, although they started relatively slowly in the Prva HNL, with just four out of nine possible points, placing them seventh in the standings. at the start of the season.
Nonetheless, given their recent European pedigree, the standards are high for the 22 national champions, so the elite European competition is where they expect to be by the end of the month.
Since winning his 15th national title with three rounds to go last season, Czeslaw MichniewiczThe Legia team also had at least one eye for a place in the big time.
Like Dinamo, the reigning Polish champions reached the third qualifying round without any real danger, having first beaten Bodo / Glimt – home and away winners against the Norwegian side – before beating the Estonians in FC Flora in the second round.
They may have dominated Ekstraklasa last season, while losing just one competitive home game in 2021, but Legia will now look to improve their status on the European stage following last week’s result in Zagreb. .
Last appearing in the Champions League group stage in 2016, the Legionisci crashed in the Champions League playoffs in the second round last year, before losing to Qarabag in the Europa League qualifiers.
To avoid slipping into the equivalent match this time around, Michniewicz’s men will need to do better than in their last league outing – a shock 3-1 loss to Radomiak Radom after being reduced to nine men – albeit at less had a full week to prepare, having been spared weekend housework.
Legia Warsaw Champions League form:
Legia Warsaw form (all competitions):
Dinamo Zagreb Champions League form:
Dinamo Zagreb form (all competitions):
Dynamo forward Mislav Orsic – who played for Croatia in the Euros this summer and scored a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League last season – is part of a dynamic attack for the visitors, who have accumulated 36 goals in their last 13 games.
Left-back Orsic is expected to combine with Bruno Petkovic up front in Warsaw – with Luka Ivanusec starting right – and Swiss striker Mario gavranovic provides another option of the bench.
Head coach Damir Krznar still worried about the captain’s availability Arijan Ademi – who was sent off in the previous qualifying round due to a thigh injury – therefore Josip misic could join again Kristijan jakic in the Dinamo engine room.
Legia, meanwhile, will continue to benefit from the former Celtic goalkeeper’s vast European experience. Artur Boruc – now 41 – as he starts behind a likely return to three for the home side.
Azeri forward Mahir Emreli is expected to lead the line in a 3-4-3 formation, although Albanian youngster Ernest Muci is in the running to start after impressing coach Czeslaw Michniewicz with his late equalizer as a substitute last week.
Winger Bartosz Kapustka is now confirmed as absent for long-term injury, having been pulled out just minutes after scoring against Flora in the previous round under unfortunate circumstances – being ruled out for several months with a cruciate ligament tear suffered while he was celebrating his superb solo goal by jumping into the crowd.
Possible starting composition of Legia Warsaw:
Boruc; Wieteska, Nawrocki, Jedrzejczyk; Juranovic, Martins, Slisz, Mladenovic; Luquinhas, Emreli, Muci
Possible starting line-up from Dinamo Zagreb:
Livakovic; Ristovski, Théophile-Catherine, Lauritsen, Franjic; Jakic; Ivanusec, Majer, Misic, Orsic; Petkovic
We say: Legia Warsaw 2-2 Dinamo Zagreb (3-3 overall; Dinamo win on penalties)
Although Dinamo are still a threat in the final third and have great individual quality up front, Legia have been nearly invincible at home this year and can certainly break the visitors’ defense at least once.
This well-balanced tie could therefore go all the way, with penalties perhaps needed to decide which continental competition each team will participate in over the coming weeks.
Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data