Dinamo Zagreb and Bodo/Glimt go head to head at the Stadion Maksimir in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying playoff round clash on Wednesday.
Having secured a first-leg victory, the Norwegian side head into the game 90 minutes away from a place in Europe’s biggest club tournament and will be looking to pick up where they dropped off last week.
Dinamo Zagreb will head into their midweek clash facing an uphill battle as they will need to overturn a one-goal deficit to secure their place in the Champions League group stages after suffering a 1-0 loss against Bodo/Glimt in last week’s playoff-round first leg.
Ante Cacic’s men travelled to the Aspmyra Stadion, where they were guilty of a toothless display at the attacking end of the pitch, with Amahl Pellegrino‘s 37th-minute effort separating the sides by the final whistle.
Prior to that, Dinamo Zagreb picked up one draw and three wins from their four games in the qualifiers, seeing off KF Shkupi and Ludogorets Razgrad in the second and third rounds respectively.
The Croatian outfit head into Wednesday’s game off the back of Saturday’s comfortable 5-2 home victory over Osijek in the HNL, where they have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new campaign, picking up five wins and one draw from their opening six games.
Dinamo Zagreb will fancy their chances of turning things around on their home turf where they are currently on a run of four consecutive wins and are unbeaten since the turn of the year, with their last defeat coming on December 5, when they lost 2-0 against Hajduk Split.
Meanwhile, Bodo/Glimt would have hoped for a more inspiring result leading up to Wednesday’s matchup as they were held to a 2-2 draw by league strugglers HamKam when the sides met last weekend.
Despite falling behind twice in the game, the Gronnbuksene found a way back on both occasions as Hassan Kurucay and Pal Alexander Kirkevold scored second-half goals to force a share of the spoils at the Aspmyra Stadion.
Prior to that, Bodo/Glimt were on a run of six consecutive victories in the Norwegian Eliteserien, scoring an impressive 24 goals and conceding three since a slender 3-2 defeat at the hands of Odd on July 2.
They now turn their attention to the Champions League qualifiers where they are currently on a four-game unbeaten streak, claiming one draw and two three wins, including a resounding 8-0 victory over Northern Irish side Linfield FC on July 27.
While Kjetil Knutsen‘s side will look to pick up where they dropped last week against Dinamo Zagreb, they have failed to win any of their three away games in the qualifier, losing twice and managing one draw, while scoring two goals and shipping five in that time.
Dinamo Zagreb will take to the pitch without the services of 22-year-old defender Josip Sutalo, who is set to sit out his 10th consecutive game after coming off with a 16th-minute injury against Shkupi back in July.
He is joined on the club’s injury table by former Sibenik midfielder Marko Bulat, who has been out of action since March through a long-term injury.
Bruno Petkovic and Mislav Orsic were both on target as the Purgeri cruised to a comfortable victory at the weekend and the duo should retain their roles in the starting XI on Wednesday, teaming up at the attacking end of the pitch once again.
Barring any late fitness issues, Bodo/Glimt head into the game with no fresh injury concerns as the duo of Sondre Brunstad Fet and Morten Konradsen continue their spells on the sidelines.
Brunstad Fet has been out of action since early May, when he sustained a meniscus injury against Lillestrom, while Konradsen has been nursing a knee problem since March.
With that said, Knutsen could name a similar side from last week’s first-leg victory, meaning that we could see a back four of Alfons Sampsted, Marius Hoeibraaten, Helstad Amundsen and Brice Wembangomo, with the trio of Hugo Vetlesen, Elias Hagen and Ulrik Saltnes in midfield.
Pellegrino continued his red-hot form in front of goal last weekend when he netted a brace to take his league tally to 19 for the season, and we expect the 32-year-old forward to spearhead the attack once again.
Dinamo Zagreb possible starting lineup:
Livakovic; Ristkovski, Sutalo, Peric, Ljubicic; Tolic, Misic; Ademi, Orsic, Menalo; Petkovic
Bodo/Glimt possible starting lineup:
Haikin; Sampsted, Hoeibraaten, Amundsen, Wembangomo; Vetlesen, Hagen, Saltnes; Mvuka, Pellegrino, Salvesen
Dinamo Zagreb will be backing themselves to turn things around against a Bodo/Glimt side who have struggled to grind out results on enemy grounds. The Croatian outfit head into the midweek clash with sky-high confidence and we predict they will make use of their home advantage and grab the desired result.
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