Spartak Trnava vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Preview 05/08/2021
The all-new UEFA Europa Conference League moves into the third qualifying round this week with a massive slate of fixtures. One of the most intriguing matchups will take place at the Anton Malatinský Stadium in Trnava, Slovakia.
Spartak Trnava, fresh off of last season’s third-place finish, will host Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Israeli club won a trio of domestic cups last season and finished second in the top flight. Maccabi Tel Aviv also reached the Europa League round of 32.
Maccabi began their journey in the Europa Conference League in the second qualifying round. They defeated Montengro’s Sutjeska Niksic 3-1 over two legs. Maccabi Tel Aviv drew the away leg nil-nil before winning at home 3-1 in the second match.
Spartak Trnava joined the competition in the first qualifying round as they defeated Malta’s Mosta on aggregate 4-3. After losing the first leg 3-2, Spartak Trnava won the second game 2-0.
The Slovakian club struggled to get through the second qualifying round versus Romania’s Sepsi OSK. After a nil-nil first leg at home, the second match ended 1-1 with the team going to penalties. Spartak Trnava won 4-3 in the shootout.
These teams have not previously played and no historical trends can be seen going into the first leg. However, Maccabi Tel Aviv previously showed they can go away from home and collect a draw without conceding in the previous round.
Spartak Trnava should have the edge in terms of fitness going into the game. They have played six games this season in all competitions. Only two of those six matches ended in wins and Spartak Trnava are coming off of a 2-1 loss to Senica in the Slovakia top flight at the weekend.
Forward Yonaton Cohen led Maccabi Tel Aviv in goals last season in the Europa League with two. He will be expected to play a big part in the team’s attack.
New signing Osama Khalaila kickstarted his career at Maccabi with two goals in the second leg of the team’s Europa Conference League second qualifying round match versus Sutjeska. He should start in attack for the team once more.
Playing away from home should see Maccabi Tel Aviv walk away with a draw on Thursday night. Despite Spartak Trnava winning just twice this season in six tries, their three home fixtures all ended without defeat.
The game should be low scoring with under 2.5 goals as Spartak Trnava and Maccabi Tel Aviv head to Israel in a week’s time to sort out which side progresses to the playoff round.
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