The Champions Path of the 2019/20 Champions League second qualifying round is where you will find the bulk of the teams at this stage of the competition. There are ten ties to enjoy across Europe featuring champions from various countries.
On Wednesday 24th July we have a meeting between the champions of Slovenia and Sweden as NK Maribor and AIK Fotboll go head-to-head. The first leg of the tie will be played at Ljudski vrt in Slovenia and NK Maribor will be keen to take an advantage with them for the second leg.
NK Maribor won the 2018/19 Slovenian PrvaLiga by 9 points from second place Olimpija Ljubljana. It was the seventh time they have won the league since the turn of the decade and they are the dominant team in Slovenia.
However, they have had made a stuttering start to their domestic campaign, losing and drawing their opening two games. They did manage to come through the first qualifying round of the Champions League, beating Valur 5-0 on aggregate, including a 2-0 home win.
NK Maribor are undefeated in their last four Champions League games, winning two and drawing two. They have lost just one of their last eight but that was a 7-0 mauling at the hands of Liverpool in 2017. NK Maribor have defeated Astana, FH, Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Valur in those eight matches.
Trends show only once have they seen over 2.5 goals in their last eight home Champions League matches.
AIK Fotboll won the 2018 Allsvenskan by just 2 points from IFK Norrköping. The current season is well under way in Sweden and AIK Fotboll are currently in second place, with 34 points from seventeen games. They picked up a 2-0 win over Helsingborg on the weekend and go into this match having won each of their last three matches in all competitions.
However, they did not find it easy in the first Champions League qualifying round and lost 2-1 at Ararat-Armenia. They needed to win the home leg 2-0 or by two clear goals to progress and did so, winning 3-1.
AIK Fotboll do not have much of a record away from home in the Champions League. Of the three games they have played since 2010, they have drawn one and lost two.
Looking ahead to the team news and NK Maribor have doubts over the fitness of Dino Hotic and Aleksander Rajecevic.
AIK Fotboll travel with doubts over Joel Ekstrand and Jesper Nyholm. The latter has been recovering from a broken leg and is unlikely to feature in this match.
NK Maribor were convincing in their first round tie and have a good recent home record in the Champions League. The same cannot be said AIK Fotboll, who struggled away from home against Ararat-Armenia, with this set to be a tougher test. However Maribor’s current league form may be of concert judging to their poor start to the campaign.
PREDICTION : 2-2 DRAW
ACCUMULATOR TIP : BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 2.08