Sheriff Tiraspol will try to rebound in Tuesday’s second leg at the Zimbru Stadium after failing to penetrate a resolute Maribor defense in the first leg of their Champions League second-round qualifying match.
Their Slovenian counterparts, meanwhile, will want to surprise their prestigious opponents in order to force a third-round matchup with either HJK Helsinki or Viktoria Plzen.
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Sheriff Tiraspol vs Maribor Betting odds
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Maribor Tips and Prediction
Sheriff Tiraspol discovered the hard way that previous tournament victories mean little until the task at hand can be accomplished on the field, as other sides have learnt throughout the early stages of Champions League qualifying.
The Bosnia-Herzegovina champions Zrinjski labored to a scoreless draw away from home in round one, but the Moldovan champions struck twice against Maribor to win 1-0 on the overall score.
If Real Madrid’s victors were eliminated in the second round of qualifying, it would be a significant lapse in judgment. To have a chance of making it to the group stages for a second consecutive year, Stjepan Tomas’ team will need to turn the tie around at home.
The hosts have not given up a goal in the 2022–23 Champions League qualification, and the scoreless draw in Maribor’s opening leg did at least extend their unbeaten streak across all competitions to 14 games as they get ready to start defending their 20th national championship next weekend.
Many questioned how Maribor would perform offensively after all-time leading scorer Marcos Tavares retired at the end of the previous campaign, but the Slovenian champions were prepared to settle for a scoreless draw in the first leg before the game even started. Radovan Karanovic’s men, unlike some other qualifying clubs, have not been given a break from their domestic endeavors while trying to advance in Europe, but on Saturday they finally won their first league game of the 2021–22 season.
In addition, like Sheriff, Maribor drew the first leg of their Champions League match with Shakhtyor Soligorsk at 0-0 before winning 2-0 in the return leg. This helped Maribor erase their opening 3-0 defeat to Radomlje.
The most recent of Maribor’s three group-stage appearances in the Champions League was in the 2017–18 season. However, between two teams who still have perfect defensive records, something has to give.
Maribor may have enjoyed a victory over the weekend that gave them more self-confidence, but Karanovic lacks a natural substitute for injured captain Milec, and his team struggled defensively on Saturday.
We can only back the Moldovan champions to advance and send Maribor to the Europa League since Sheriff Tiraspol have much less injury issues to deal with and will try to capitalize on Maribor’s exhaustion at home.