Balzan aim at retaining slender lead in Bratislava

After winning 2-1 in the first leg, Balzan will be all out to maintain their slender lead as they face Slovan Bratislava in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round main path at the Štadión Pasienky in Bratislava on Thursday, kick-off at 19:30.

Balzan made history after defeating Keşla FK 4-1 and losing 1-2 in Baku to reach the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League for the first time. In the first leg against Slovan, they managed to build a two-goal lead but then conceded a goal which could make the whole difference as a 1-0 win would be enough for Slovan Bratislava to reach the next round where they would be facing Rapid Wien of Austria. It will therefore be a difficult match for the BOV Premier League runners-up. However Balzan will be all out to make life difficult and upset their more illustrious opponents who had won the Cup Winners Cup in 1968 after defeating Barcelona 3-2.

In recent years, after making it to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League in 2011/12 and 2014/15, they made it to the third qualifying round of the competition in 2015/16 but in the past two years, they were eliminated in the second qualifying round.

In Bratislava, coach Marko Micovic will have the full squad at his disposal as young Serbian striker Andrija Majdevac who scored Balzan’s only goal in the 1-2 defeat to Keşla in Baku will be back after serving a one-match ban. However Micovic is not expected to make changes to the team which won the first leg.

Third qualifying round matches will be played on August 9 and 16 – first leg at home and second leg in Vienna.