On Wednesday, July 24, at 19:45, Dundalk receives Qarabag’s visit to Azerbaijan in a balanced duel scheduled at the Oriel Park stadium in Ireland. Guests are favorites after they played in the Europa League groups last season, but the “double” of the UCL preliminaries this summer is announcing a very difficult for the Black and White band.
Both bands needed a first elimination round to reach this stage. Dundalk qualified after relegating FC Riga to penalties, thanks to the goals scored by Hoban, Murray, Jarvis, McGrath and Hoare. He went head to head to 3-3, but then both bands missed two executions! Eventually, the Irish kept their temper and advanced in the next phase, without impressing from the offensive point of view.
Qarabag had a much more accessible duel with Partizani, which he beat 2-0 on his own, after a white draw in the away. The qualifying goals were scored in the second half by Ozobic (’51) and Quintana (’90 +4), the latter taking advantage of the fact that the Albanians defeated the final of the match. Qarabag is a well-organized team that stays physically excellent and Dundalk will find it hard to finish.
Impressive in the summer, where he made 0-0 with Craiova University, the azeri formation starts with the first chance, but will be pleased to keep the table untouched in the first hand. Dundalk dominates the Irish race but does not have a lot of talents that can make a difference, which makes us think and bet on a draw at the end, at the excellent odds.