Prediction: Omonia vs Dinamo Zagreb

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 9/10

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Bookmaker: Betfair

Omonia will welcome Dinamo Zagreb to their GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Tuesday evening for the second leg of their showdown in the second round of the Champions League qualifications for the upcoming season. The Croatian team travels to the Mediterranean island on the back of a 2-0 triumph in Zagreb in the first leg, courtesy of second-half goals from Lovro Majer and Kristijan Jakic.

Omonia

Omonia won the Cypriot First Division title last season, topping the table at the end of the regular part of the season as well as after the Championship round. In the end, they finished with 79 points, five above second-place Apollon. Naturally, they’ll be looking to make a strong start to 2021-22, but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be playing in the Champions League or not. At the moment, it doesn’t look very likely.

Omonia played three pre-season friendlies this summer, beating Apollon 4-3, drawing 1-1 against Polish side Wisla Plock and beating Gornik Zabrze, also from Poland, by 4-3. Then they faced Anorthosis in the Cypriot Super Cup two weeks ago and won the trophy on penalties, after the match ended 1-1. The run of the matches they’ve recently played ends with the first leg here, which, as has been said, they lost to Dinamo by 2-0.

Team News

Interestingly enough, 25-year-old winger Iyayi Atiemwen has joined Omonia on loan, from club none other than Dinamo Zagreb. He is eligible to face his parent club, but he is not yet expected to feature, having only arrived last week.

Coach Henning Berg has no reported injury worries ahead of this match, but he might feel the need to change a few things after the first-leg defeat. Nonetheless, Serbian striker Marko Scepovic is still likely to lead the line alongside Michal Duris, and Hungary international Adam Lang should pair up with another Slovak, Tomas Hubocan, in the heart of defence.

Dinamo Zagreb

Dinamo have been the dominant force in Croatian football practically since the country gained its independence and established its top flight, having been a part of the ‘big four’ in the former Yugoslavia as well. Only in 2016-17 did the HNL title escape from their grasp, when NK Rijeka beat them to it by two points. Before that, you’d have to as far back as 2004-05 to find a season which didn’t end with Dinamo on top, when Hajduk Split, also among the Yugoslavian ‘big four’ once upon a time, last won the crown. Last season, Dinamo finished with 85 points to lift the trophy, eight more than runners-up Osijek.

The 2021-22 season has already begun in Croatia, which tends to give them an edge over their Cypriot rivals, and after two rounds, Dinamo are fourth with three points.

Dinamo went past Icelandic side Valur in the first round of these qualifications, winning both legs. They appeared to have taken the road to the Champions League very seriously, because they lost the opening match of the domestic league played at home against Slaven Belupo by 0-2, between the two qualifying rounds. They recovered after the first leg against win over Omonia with an emphatic 0-4 victory away to Hrvatski Dragovoljac on Friday, their last match played so far.

Team News

Boss Damir Krznar is likely to be without his captain, midfielder Arijan Ademi, who picked up an injury in the first leg. The same goes for winger Luka Ivanusec.

If Ivanusec is by some chance deemed fit after all, he should start upfront alongside Mislav Orsic and Bruno Petkovic. Josip Misic is the likeliest candidate to replace Ademi in the middle of the park, though like Ivanusec, Ademi hasn’t been ruled out completely yet.

Dominik Livakovic, who stood in the goal in all four of Croatia’s matches at the Euros, is naturally a nailed-on starter between the posts.

Conclusion

Dinamo obviously have more quality in their ranks than Omonia, with all due respect to the Cypriot side, but with a two-goal advantage on their side, they won’t be rushing into things in Nicosia. They will rather look to control the game as much as possible and prevent the home side from causing any serious harm. An early Omonia goal could, of course change everything, but at the moment, it doesn’t seem like this contest will be loaded with chances or goals.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 9/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Source of the article

Author: XenBet

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