Malmo vs Zrinjski for the Europa League qualifying match on Thursday at Swedbank Stadium.
Malmo host Zrinjski in the third round of the Europa League Qualifying, an unexpected duel after the big surprise that was the elimination of Utrecht by the Bosnians. These are two teams that arrive here after overcoming two qualifiers with Malmo more easily even though they missed the last qualifying round with Domzale, while Zrinjski comes after beating Utrecht against all expectations.
Malmo comes to this match as a total favourite and has at home their first game having an excellent opportunity to get a good result and then defend away from home where a more complicated game is expected.
In the first round, Malmo easily overcame Northern Ireland’s Ballymena with an aggregate result of 11-0, demonstrating their total superiority but in the previous round, the Swedish team already had much more difficulty against a better opponent that is Domzale. After a 2-2 draw away, Malmo won 3-2 at home in a match where if Domzale had scored another goal, they wouldn’t be playing another round.
It is important to note that Malmo comes for this match at the worst time when they have won just 4 of the last 9 games and two of them have been against Ballymena who are a very accessible team, which shows the bad moment of the group.
On the other side, we have Zrinjski who first eliminated Akademija Pandev easily with two 3-0 wins and now more recently eliminated Utrecht in a knockout that few expected the team to be able to achieve.
It is important to note that the team did not lose any of the games having tied two and specialy the draw away from home when it was expected a comfortable victory of the Dutch.
Now Zrinjski has a very complicated game ahead of them, but for me, at Utrecht level, the team will unquestionably believe in one more surprise after the great feat achieved in the last round.
Undoubtedly Malmo is a favourite for this knockout round and especially for this game playing at home against a weaker team. Still, I disagree with the odds given for this game with an odd of 1.20 for Malmo. Given the odds provided for this game, I see a lot of value in Zrinjski +2 which despite being weaker can get here a result not too heavy to take to the second game.