Aron Wright - July 17, 2018
FK Sarajevo vs Banants Yerevan
Europa League First qualifying round
Date: Thursday, 19 July 2018
Kick-Off at 19:15 UK / 20:15 CET
Venue: Stadion Asim Ferhatović Hase (Sarajevo).
Sarajevo stole the bragging rights when these two met at Yerevan last Wednesday.
The three goals in the 2-1 fell inside the 34 minutes from kick-off with Sarajevo scoring the first two goals of the game.
Sarajevo are looking for their first European home win since 2013. The majority of their victories at this competition had come away from home during the period.
Meantime, Banants lost in 10 of their last 12 Europa League matches across all venues.
Their clash last week is the only competitive head-to-head meeting
Sarajevo head into the first qualifying round tie as favorites to advance even though they failed to cross the first hurdle last term falling shockingly to Moldovan Zaria Balti after penalties (3-3 on aggregate).
The Bosnian outfit should have an easier job this time out given Banants head into the game low on confidence after poor displays shown in pre-season friendlies.
Banants went on to lose as much as 9-0 to Russian lower division side Tambov at the start of the month. The loss was followed with a 1-1 draw against Belarusian Neman Grodno.
Sarajevo, on the other side, were thriving in the final third netting as many as nine goals in back-to-back wins over Triglav (Slovenia) and Vozdovac (Serbia).
Overall, they Bosnians a strong finish to the season in the top flight of their domestic league and came into this tie on the back of six wins in last seven games including friendlies.
Besides, Sarajevo had much more success in Europa League qualifications. They reached the play-off round back in 2014/15 season when German Borussia Monchengladbach were too strong advancing with 10-2 on aggregate even though Sarajevo offered a strong resistance in the first leg played in front of their crowd.
Banants have a dismal record on 10 defeats, 2 draws and only 1 win in last 13 Europa League fixtures. Interestingly, the lone win came against the Bosnian opposition, but it counted for little as Siroki Brijeg advanced from their opening round tie back in the summer of 2009.