Torshavn played some good football against HJK Helsinki last week. They were leading 2-0 until HJK replied 2 goals late in the 2nd half which ended their hopes in the CL qualifiers but they are still in contention in the Europa League qualifiers against Linfield. Comparing both the teams, Torshavn should have the edge in this game as they have been scoring at home while Linfield struggled against Rosenborg with an aggregate of 0-6. The only hope Linfield may have is to try their best tp keep Torshavn at bay and at least score an away goal to bring the tie back to their home ground next week but that could be seen as a tough task judging on Linfield's last game with Rosenborg.
Torino kick off their Europa League qualifying campaign with a match against Debrecen at their Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Il Toro recorded a hard-fought 3-2 win over Pro Patria in their first warm-up game of the pre-season, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s football match against the Hungarian outfit.
The Serie A side are a real force to be reckoned with at home and seeing that the club chiefs managed to keep hold of top scorer Andrea Belotti in the summer transfer window, I are tempted to put our money on Walter Mazzarri’s troops. Debrecen, on the other hand, did well to eliminate Albanian side Kukesi in the Europa League first qualifying round to set up a meeting with Torino. The Hungarians are tough to beat at home, but given their poor away record in the Europa League, I do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Il Toro’s party in Turin.
Legia play host to KuPS at their Stadion Miejski Legii Warszawa in the Europa League second qualifying round, first leg. The Wojskowi failed to impress in their Europa League opener, with the team sharing the spoils with FC Europa in Gibraltar, but they rolled over the minnows 3-0 in front of home fans to set up a meeting with the Finnish club.
Legia produce much better performances at home than on the travels and seeing that the Veikkausliiga clubs have been struggling in European competitions in recent years, I predict that the hosts are going to emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match. KuPS did well to eliminate Belarusian side Vitebsk in the first qualifying round, but beating Legia on the road is easier said than done. It has to be noted that the two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Espanyol return to the Europa League following a 12-year absence. Los Periquitos have been handed an easy draw in the second qualifying round, with the team facing Iceland side Stjarnan in the double-header. The Catalan outfit aim to get their job done in the first leg and seeing that they have turned their RCDE Stadium into a real fortress, I predict that David Gallego’s troops are going to emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match.
Borja Iglesias, who scored 17 goals in the 2018/2019 La Liga season, is likely to lead the line for the hosts. Stjarnan, on the other hand, defeated Levadia on away goal rule in round 1, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in the RCDE Stadium clash. Given the number of high-profile players in the Catalan side, the Icelanders are likely to return home empty-handed from the trip to Barcelona.
Ligue 1 side Strasbourg kick off their Europa League qualifying campaign with a match against Maccabi Haifa. Le Racing have been producing fine performances in pre-season and they are likely to go for a victory in Thursday’s football game against the Israeli outfit. Strasbourg were producing splendid performances in the 2018/2019 Ligue 1 campaign and they certainly want to continue where they left last term.
South Africa attacker Lebo Mothiba, who represented the Bafana Bafana at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, will be the man to keep an eye on in the home team. Maccabi Haifa, on the other hand, did well to beat Mura in the double-header, but Strasbourg are likely to pose a much bigger threat for them than their previous rivals and I do not believe that they are going to grab something from the first leg.
As expected, Rangers rolled over St Joseph’s of Gibraltar in the Europa League 1st qualifying round, but they need to keep raising form if they are to book their place in the group stages of the European competition. The Gers have been scoring goals for fun in both warm-up and competitive matches of late and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against the Luxembourg outfit.
Steven Gerard is doing a great job with the Scottish Premier League side and I predict that they are going to give fans yet another reason for celebration on Thursday evening. Progress, on the other hand, aim to build on a splendid triumph over Cork City in the first qualifying round, but given Rangers’ current form, I do not believe that they are capable of claiming yet another major scalp in the process.