In this match, the Bulgarian side, Botev Plovdiv, will host Marítimo, on the 1st leg of this 3rd Qualifying Round for the Europa League’s group stage.
The home team is already competing since their domestic league already started and they had played in the 2 previous qualifying rounds as well, as opposed to their rivals here, Marítimo.
Botev Plovdiv have 4 wins and 2 losses in their 6 official matches so far this season, a record which might concern the Portuguese side.
They also won 3 out of the 4 Europa League matches so far, with a very good goal average (9 goals scored and only 2 conceded), and they beat Beitar Jerusalem in a whopping fashion: 4-0, in a clear demonstration of power. They also have been pretty solid at home, with only 2 losses in their last 10 matches as hosts.
On the other side, Marítimo will play their first official match against the Bulgarians, and this will be an important one since it would be nice to bring a decent result from Bulgaria so they could close out this tie easily on the 2nd leg at home, at Estádio dos Barreiros, where the islanders are usually very strong.
Their main weakness however is their away form, where they only won once in their last 15 matches!
About their opponent, the coach Daniel Ramos said:
“Botev will, surely, discuss this tie, but Marítimo will give everything to go through. We also expect the support from our fans to help us on our task.”
Daniel Ramos called up for this match the following list of players: Amir, Edgar Costa, Broetto, Gustavo, Maurício, Cristiano Gomes, Carlos Daniel, Zainadine, Gamboa, Éber Bessa, Piqueti, Coronas, Bebeto, Lundberg, Everton, Ricardo Valente, Rodrigo Pinho, Luís Martins, Teles, Diney,Pablo, Jean Cléber, Erdem Sen e Charles, with an important player missing in Ghazaryan, who is still suffering with a knee injury.
Botev Plovdiv vs Marítimo Pick:
Well, Botev Plovdiv is very strong at home, while Marítimo has been struggling away from their fans for a long time (that didn’t change with Daniel Ramos either), so I can’t see them beating the Bulgarians in this match.
They should also be struggling with their physical condition, when compared to their opponents, who are already playing official matches for a few weeks.
With that said, I think the hosts will not lose, and I fancy a slim win (1-0).