AIK Solna vs Maribor for the Champions League qualification match on Wednesday at Friends Arena Stadium.
AIK Solna and Maribor play today in the Champions League Qualifying Round 3 in a match between two teams at approximately the same level with slight favouritism for Maribor in my opinion that not only is it a team with more European experience but when it usually plays there achieve better results than AIK that has not impressed me in recent times.
The first round ended with a 2-1 victory for the Slovenians and AIK entered this game with the obligation to win before they could pass.
AIK last season won the title of national champion after several seasons without overcoming Malmo which in recent years has been the most dominant domestic team.
With this title, AIK secured a presence in the Champions League and after eliminating Ararat-Armenia now faces Maribor, a team with higher quality and also much more tradition making the task more complicated.
Internally AIK has been having a good time and occupies the first place of the championship, but they have not convinced me so much as in the last season failing very much against the higher quality opponents something that is a wrong indication for today’s match.
On the other side, we have Maribor the Slovenian national champions who reach this stage after easily beating Valur in the first round with an aggregate score of 5-0. Now ahead of AIK is a much more complicated team than Valur but still well within reach of Maribor.
After an excellent first-round 2-1 win Maribor comes into this match trying to defend the advantage of a goal. Maribor internally only started the season a few weeks ago, thus having a little less physical condition than AIK, but in terms of quality Maribor team is at or above AIK level.
This is going to be a very balanced game between two good teams not seeing so much favouritism for AIK even playing at home. This AIK team doesn’t convince me against stronger teams and having to go in pursuit of the result could play against the Swedes, giving Maribor a lot of space to play against. So I’m going on Maribor’s double chance.