HAJDUK SPLIT VS INTER PREVIEW
Youthful Hajduk Split side are hoping a vociferous support from the stands can help them keep this tie alive, but despite not being at full strength, it isInter who are hot favourites to win this one.
One of the two most famous Croatian clubs have been on the major downtrend over the last decade and they have now missed out on the league title for the seventh successive time.
The club have been in huge financial problems, which is why they were forced to sell their best players and now completely rely on a squad of unproven youngsters
Even their own fans agree that this is probably the weakest squad in club’s recent history, so Inter definitely look a good bet at odds of 1.40 (2/5) offered by Ladbrokes.
Hajduk made it to the third qualifying round thanks to the 2-1 aggregate victory over Latvian side Skonto, while they have picked up four points from first two HNL games.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Blazevic – Vrsajevic, Maloca, Milovic, Jozinovic – Radosevic, Andrijasevic – Oremus, Ozobic, Caktas – Vukusic.
Following what was a very disappointing season, Inter owner Massimo Moratti decided to overhaul the squad this summer and this is basically a beginning of an era for the Neroazzurri.
Veteran players Lucio, Diego Forlan, Julio Cesar, Dejan Stankovic are no longer part of the squad, while Samir Handanovic, Matias Silvestre, Gaby Mudingayi and Rodrigo Palacio are the new additions.
Boss Andrea Stramaccioni has decided to take 20 players to Split, with Juan (away on international duty), Maicon, Julio Cesar, Dejan Stakovic (all three expected to leave) and Ricky Alvarez (injured) missing out.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Handanovic – Zanetti, Silvestre, Samuel, Nagatomo – Guarin, Cambiasso, Mudingayi – Coutinho, Milito, Sneijder.
ANZHI MAKHACHKALA VS VITESSE PREVIEW
The nouveau riche side from Russia successfully passed their first hurdle in Europe and they are now expected to beat Vitesse as well.
The Dutch side overcame Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the second qualifying round, but a trip to Russia could prove to be pretty disappointing for them.
Having spent so much money on new players last season, Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov decided to cut back spending this summer, although he did bring striker Lacina Traore for €18 million.
Despite the lack of summer spending, Anzhi enjoyed a bright start to the season, having recorded a 5-0 aggregate win over Honved in Europe, while taking four points from first two league games.
Samuel Eto’o and Lacina Traore seem to have already established a good attacking partnership, which is great news for everyone at the club.
Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Gabulov – Logashov, Samba, Joao Carlos, Tagirbekov – Shatov, Jucilei, Akhmedov, Boussoufa – Eto’o, Traore.
Vitesse may have finished last season in seventh place, but they still achievedEuropa League qualification, having beaten NEC Nijmegen and RKC Waalwijk in the Eredivisie play-offs.
The team have stayed virtually unchanged over the summer, which may not necessarily be a bad thing, as witnessed by the solid showings in the Europa League second qualifying round.
Following the entertaining 4-4 draw in Bulgaria, Vitesse recorded a 3-1 win over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the return leg to earn a clash with very good Anzhi side.
New signing Simon Cziommer is in contention for the game in Russia, but defender Tomas Kalas is suspended.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Velthuizen – van der Struijk, Kashia, Yasuda, van Aanholt – van der Heijden, van Ginkel, Hofs – Ibarra, Bony, Reis.