Borac Banja Luka vs Egnatia Rrogozhine predictions: Hosts to get among the goals

 | Tuesday 9th July 2024, 16:21pm

Tuesday 9th July 2024, 16:21pm

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Borac Banja Luka host Egnatia Rrogozhine in the first leg of their Champions League first qualifying round tie on Wednesday, with both clubs desperate to do better than the last time they lined up in European club competitions. Borac, the champions of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were knocked out at this stage in 2021/22 by CFR Cluj of Romania.

Egnatia fell at the first hurdle in the Conference League qualifiers last year when Ararat-Armenia knocked them out on penalties after two close ties that both finished all square. Borac have bolstered their ranks with a raft of recent signings, so will they be able to get past the Albanian champions over two legs?

Borac Banja Luka vs Egnatia Rrogozhine Betting Tips

  • Borac Banja Luka -1 @ 2/1
  • Over 1.5 Borac Banja Luka goals @ 10/11 

Football Odds

Team news

Both clubs have been playing friendlies to prepare for this fixture with Borac steadily growing their squad with a series of recent acquisitions.

Attacking midfielder Stefan Savic is likely to start after arriving from Warta Poznan, while Serbian winger Petar Karaklajic also looks likely to get a first opportunity to impress the home crowd.

Coach Mladen Zizovic has confirmed there are no absentees through injury for this clash.

Meanwhile, Egnatia have lost two key players from last season’s title-winning campaign during the summer.

Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernando Medeiros has joined Sumgayit in Azerbaijan, while striker Jurguens Montenegro has returned to Costa Rica after a contract dispute.

Albania international Alen Sherri will start in goal, behind a three-man defence of Arbenit Xhemajli, Fransua Dulis and Zamig Alijev.

Abdurraman Fangaj and Edison Ndreca look likely to fill the wing-back roles alongside Albano Aleksi, Arbin Zejnullai and Regi Lushkja in midfield.

Melih Ibrahimoglu and Redi Kasa will start in attack.

Montenegro’s eight goals and two assists in 25 matches helped Egnatia secure the domestic double after he arrived there in January 2024.

Match odds

Borac Banja Luka are the 8/13 favourites to take a lead into next week’s return leg with Egnatia available at 4/1 to win on the road and the draw priced at 12/5.

It's evens for both teams to score and 8/11 for at least one of the teams to keep a clean sheet, while 11/10 is available for over 2.5 goals to be scored in the game.

Borac Banja Luka -1 @ 2/1

The hosts have been very strong on their own patch in recent years and lost only three times at home last season.

Zizovic has been happy with his squad’s performances in the recent friendly games too, which included a 2-2 draw with Celje, a 2-1 win over UTA Arad and a 2-0 win over Romanian Cup holders Corvinul Hunedoara.

That last result came just over a week before FCSB beat Corvinul 3-0 in the Super Cup and suggests Borac could be capable of mixing it with the Romanian champions if they were to meet later in Champions League qualifying.

The Albanians will travel to Banja Luka without any fans after both sets of supporters were banned from travelling for this tie.

Egnatia’s double-winning campaign last season was fairytale stuff, but reality has hit them hard this summer as players have left for pastures new and adequate replacements have not yet been recruited.

Montenegro was drafted in last January after Raphael Dwamena tragically died during a game and the Costa Rican bagged eight goals and three assists in 25 appearances.

His goalscoring ability will be missed and backing the home side to cover a -1 handicap in this first leg, where they will have all the support, looks like a sensible way to go.

Over 1.5 Borac Banja Luka goals @ 10/11 

It is not easy to judge the state of the two sides’ form because both teams have only been playing friendlies, but Borac have been regularly netting a couple of goals in their warm-up matches.

Backing them to bag at least two against an Egnatia side who shipped two goals in both of their recent friendlies - against NK Maribor and FK Buducnost - seems the way to go.

Football Betting Tips from Betfred Insights.

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