The UEFA Champions League qualifications have reached their final stage. Six teams will proceed to the most prominent European club competition, while the other half of the dozen will move to the Europa League. We are here to present a short and quick preview of all six pairs, along with some predictions.
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Brondby
The Austrian champions are simply ruthless in the domestic championship over the past several years, and their domination is slowly starting to get out of the national boundaries. Red Bull is a very talented team, that likes to play offensively and with lots of goals, and it is no wonder why the bookies see them as absolute favorites in the matchup against the Danish champions Brondby.
The Danes have a solid team, but it is nowhere near Red Bull, who recently defeated Barcelona in a friendly match, for example.
Pick: Red Bull Salzburg to advance
Monaco vs. Shakhtar
This might be one of the most interesting pairs for watching in terms of the efficiency and number of goals. The Ukrainian team likes to play open and attractive football, regardless of the rivals across the field. At the same time, on the other side, Monaco showed an offensive-minded approach in all of its preseason and competitive matches this year.
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) August 11, 2021
Our suggestion here would be to bet on the high number of goals in both legs, and regarding the winner, we give a slight edge to Shakhtar because of the rematch in Ukraine.
Pick: Shakhtar to advance
Benfica vs. PSV
This is the biggest matchup when looking at the history of the teams. Two former European champions, and clubs that had a great impact on this sport will clash in the final stage of the qualifiers. Benfica is looking pretty well since the season started, and the same could be said for PSV. It appears that Malen’s and Dumfries’ departure made PSV’s game much quicker and more efficient.
On the other side, Benfica does a wonderful job with transfers, often picking up talented players who later become superstars. They have the same now, plus some of the more experienced veterans who arrived from the elite European teams.
We expect to see goals on both ends in both legs because this is the way these two teams play. As for the winner of the matchup, we believe that Benfica has a minimal advantage due to more experienced players and its head coach Jorge Jesus.
Pick: Benfica to advance
Malmo vs. Ludogorets
This is an absolute delight for all those who love to see new teams in the mix. Of course, neither Malmo nor Ludogorets are unknown, but just a few expected to see this matchup. The Swedish side eliminated Glasgow Rangers scoring twice at Hampden despite having a red card, while on the other side, the Bulgarians beat Olympiakos following a penalty shootout.
There won’t be too many goals here because Malmo likes to play cautious and defensive-minded football. Ludogorets, meanwhile, is constantly pressuring and love having the ball in their possession, which is the reason why we pick them to reach the UCL group stage.
Pick: Ludogorets to advance
⚽ Results of the night – Part 2:
🇧🇬 Ludogorets 2-2 (4-1 pen.) Olympiacos 🇬🇷 (3-3 agg.)
🇨🇭 Young Boys 3-1 CFR Cluj 🇷🇴 (4-2 agg.)
🇵🇹 Benfica 2-0 Spartak Moscow 🇷🇺 (4-0 agg.)
🏴 Rangers 1-2 Malmö 🇸🇪 (2-4 agg.)
🇵🇱 Legia 0-1 Dinamo Zagreb 🇭🇷 (1-2 agg.)#UCL pic.twitter.com/KW8spRzGDO
— bwin Belgium (@bwinBE) August 10, 2021
Young Boys vs. Ferencvaros
The Swiss representatives smashed Cluj in the rematch showing their offensive abilities once scoring three goals in less than 35 minutes. On the other side, Ferencvaros had crazy luck against Slavia Prague, who couldn’t hit the back of the net despite dozen good chances, allowing the Hungarians to survive.
In our humble opinion, this will be the easiest matchup for making a pick because everything points to Young Boys’ easy advance into the UEFA Champions League.
Pick: Young Boys to advance
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Sheriff
Here we have a similar situation as in the previous paragraph. Dinamo is a much better team, and their quality is much higher than Sheriffs. The Moldavian champions eliminated Red Star Belgrade, but only because of a lucky turn of events.
Dinamo showed class in Poland against Legia, and the Croats shouldn’t have any problems eliminating a much weaker rival here.
Pick: Dinamo to advance
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.