Balzan coach Oliver Spiteri has no doubt that his players will give their utmost to try and secure a positive result against NK Domzale, in the first qualifying round, first leg tie in Slovenia on Thursday (kick-off: 19.00).
For the Reds, the match in Slovenia marks a return to European football after an absence of a few years but Maltese Premier League side are determined to show their strength against familiar opposition.
In fact, this is the second time the two teams are facing each other in Europe.
In fact, in 2019 the two sides met in the Europa League and the Slovenian side prevailed 5-3 on aggregate after a thrilling 4-3 win at the Centenary Stadium and then sealed qualification with a 1-0 win at home.
For the past days, Balzan have been in Zlatibor, Serbia, for a short training camp, which included two friendly matches against two Serbian top-flight sides in preparation of this match and coach Oliver Spiteri was pleased with his team’s condition for the match.
“I am very happy with the work carried out in the past week or so,” the Balzan coach told the Times of Malta.
“The new players in the squad have adapted well in the group and all the squad is in a good physical and mental condition for these two upcoming matches.
“Maltese teams in Europe always start as outsiders. NK Domzale is a very good team who the club has already met in the Europa League a few years back. The tie will be decided over 180 minutes and the team that performs better in these two matches will qualify.
“It’s not going to be an easy match, but I can assure you that the players will give everything they have to get the right result.
“Domzale have a very young squad with some very talented players. They are very fast and will be very dangerous for us in transition, so we need to pay attention not to leave them space to hit us.
“Croatian striker Franko Kovacevic is a top-quality player while Ziga Rebas is the mastermind behind his team’s play so we need to try and limit his influence on the match.”
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