Shkendija vs The New Saints
UEFA Champions League Qualification
Date: Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Kick-Off at 19:15 UK / 20:15 CET
Venue: Telekom Arena, Skopje.
Shkendija ended Vardar’s dominance in the top flight of the Macedonian football in some style last season when they finished as many as 35 points clear at the top of the standings. It was indeed a remarkable campaign for the team led by Qatip Osmani who led the Tetovo side to only the second domestic title in their history.
The first one saw the team clinch the silverware in the 2010/11 campaign when their Champions League journey ended in a dismal fashion as neighbouring Partizan Belgrade dispatched them 5-0 on aggregate in the first qualifying round.
The new Macedonian First league champions should have a much easier task to pass the inaugural round as they are up against The New Saints of Wales. TNS stormed their way to the new domestic title without any drama last term, but can they make a step up in the continental competition?
Shkendija vs The New Saints: Head-to-head
The two teams did not have the chance to take on each other in the past.
Shkendija vs The New Saints: Prediction
The Macedonians come into this as heavy favourites after such a brilliant run which led them to the First League silverware. TNS are just a level below at this stage of the competition as they barely even went past Gibraltarian Europa (only after extra-time) in the first round of the Champions League qualifications last year.
They conceded as many as three goals to the Gibraltarian side back then and went on to ship seven more in the second qualifying round when they lost 1-7 on aggregate to Croatian champions Rijeka.
Moving forward, Shkendija showed a thrilling form in the most recent pre-season friendlies, netting three goals past Osijek and Vorskla each (both should be much stronger than TNS). This is why we would not be surprised at all to see a potential catastrophe for the visiting side in the first leg in the Macedonian capital of Skopje.
The home win is a banker at the 1.50 odds, but we will be brave enough and combine the hosts to have the lead at the half time and win the match at the end at 2.30 as well as Shkendija -1.5 handicap at 2.20.
Shkendija vs The New Saints: Bet Tips
HT/FT Shkendija/Shkendija @ 2.30
Shkendija -1.5 handicap @ 2.20.