Will Banja Luka set the course for the next round?

The time has come: Qualifying for the Champions League 2024/25 starts this week, with numerous champions from dwarf states in the thick of it. But there are already some interesting matches to watch. These include the first-round clash between Borac Banja Luka and Egnatia – a real Balkan thriller!

Banja Luka, Bosnian champions in 2023/24, are slight favorites for the showdown against Egnatia, Albanian champions last season. In the first leg, the best bookmakers are offering odds of 1.63 for a Banja Luka vs Egnatia bet on the hosts from Bosnia. In our opinion, betting on this is quite obvious

FK Borac Banja Luka have only lost two of their eleven matches on the international stage at home in the club’s entire history. One of those two defeats came last season in the qualifiers for the 2023/24 Conference League against Austria Vienna

In contrast, KF Egnatia are still a blank slate on the international stage. Last year, the newly crowned Albanian champions made their debut in the European Cup. In the first round of Conference League qualifying, Egnatia suffered a defeat against Ararat-Armenia.

It is quite possible that their international adventure will end in the first round this time too. Our Banja Luka vs Egnatia prediction aims for a win for the Bosnian representative – especially in the first leg in front of a home crowd. Bookmaker Bet365 is offering a special bonus offer for new customers!

Banja Luka – Statistics & current form

For Banja Luka, this is their comeback in the Champions League qualifiers. The last time the Red & Blues qualified for the top flight was in 2021. Back then, the three-time Bosnian champions suffered a narrow defeat to Romanian champions CFR Cluj, continuing their international adventure in the Conference League qualifiers.

However, they failed to qualify for UEFA’s third most important European cup – as they did in the following two seasons. Last season, FK Austria Vienna became the final opponent. In the second qualifying round, FK Borac Banja Luka lost 3-1 on aggregate to the Violets.

This year, the Bosnian champions start their CL qualifying campaign with a match against Egnatia. The home advantage comes in handy. The Red & Blues have only lost twice at home on the international stage in their entire club history. It is quite possible that this record will also be improved against their upcoming opponents from Albania

Will Banja Luka make the most of their home advantage?

Banja Luka won 14 of their 17 home games in the Bosnian top flight last season, making them the second-best home team in the table. Only Zrinjski won more games at home. Banja Luka scored 39 goals in these 17 matches, giving them an average of more than two goals per match.

The Bosnian champions are also likely to score at least two goals against Wednesday’s opponents from Albania. Bets on this can be placed in the Betano sports betting app, among others. In the “Goals” section, bets can be placed on the number of goals scored by the Bosnian hosts. There are currently odds of 1.91 for at least two goals!

Head coach Mladen Zizovic has no major personnel worries for the upcoming match and can largely draw from the full squad. Banja Luka recently picked up two wins in a row during the preparation phase, including the match against Hunedoara as a dress rehearsal ahead of the upcoming match in the CL qualifiers.

Predicted line-up of Banja Luka:
Milicevic – Kvrzic, Celic, Carolina, Herrera – Grahovac, Vranjes – Kulasin, Djajic, Lukic – Vukovic

Egnatia – Statistics & current form

KF Egnatia surprisingly won the championship in the Albanian top flight last season. The Black & Greens beat favorites Partizani Tirana 1-0 in the final of the league playoffs to win the league title in the Albanian Kategoria Superiore for the first time ever.

Edlir Tetova’s team also qualified for the CL for the first time in the club’s history. After making their international debut the year before, there is now great anticipation of qualifying for the top flight. However, Banja Luka was not an easy hurdle for the Tetova team.

Wednesday’s opponents from Bosnia not only have the stronger squad on paper, but also have more international experience than the Albanian champions. It is therefore not at all surprising that odds of up to 5.75 are currently on offer for a Banja Luka vs Egnatia bet on the Albanian visitors.

Does KF Egnatia defy the oddsmakers?

KF Egnatia have not made the best impression during the preparation phase of late, going winless in three consecutive test matches. They even suffered a 2-1 defeat against Budocnost in their dress rehearsal ahead of the Champions League qualifiers. It was the third test match in a row in which at least two goals were conceded.

It is quite possible that the negative trend will continue against Banja Luka. Last season, Egnatia conceded a total of 38 goals in 36 matches in the Albanian Super League – an average of more than one goal per game. Although Egnatia went into the play-offs as the best team in the main round, the championship was more than surprising due to their weakness on the road at the end of the season.

In the second half of the season, Tetova’s team went winless in seven of 13 competitive matches on foreign soil. It cannot be ruled out that the weak run of form away from home will continue at the start of the 2024/25 season.

Predicted line-up for Egnatia:
Sherri – Fangaj, Dulysse, Malota, Xhemajli, Ndreca – Aleksi, Spahiu, Zejnulai – Ibrahimoglu, Montenegro

Banja Luka – Egnatia head-to-head / H2H result

First ever meeting between the two clubs

Banja Luka – Egnatia betting tip

For both clubs, the first round fixture in the Champions League qualifiers is not convenient. According to the bookmakers, it is a qualifying duel almost at eye level. With home advantage behind them, Banja Luka will be favored in the first of two matches against KF Egnatia.

The Red & Blues want to set the course for the second round with a win against the Albanian champions. Banja Luka have only lost twice in eleven home games internationally. Against the largely inexperienced visitors from Albania, it is obvious that this record will now be improved – at least that is our assessment

We place our Banja Luka vs Egnatia betting tip on the hosts from Bosnia at reasonable odds. For our prediction of a home win, we use six units. Bet365 offers odds of 1.63 for this. Alternatively, betting on at least two goals from FK Borac Banja Luka is also recommended

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