Dinamo Zagreb vs Young Boys – Tuesday, August 27, 20:00 BST/21:00 CEST – Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb, Croatia
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the stage is set for a great final showdown between Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb and Swiss champions Young Boys Bern. Young Boys struck first in the second minute of the first leg, Kevin Mbabu was the scorer, and then held Dinamo at bay until the 40′ minute when Mislav Orsić scored the equaliser.
That goal now hands Dinamo Zagreb a small advantage as the tie now heads to Zagreb. At the same time, the draw was the first time that Young Boys did not win a match this season.
Coached by Gerardo Seoane, who took over from Adi Hütter this summer, Young Boys have won five out of five matches in the Swiss Super League this season. Playing 4-4-2 with a double pivot in midfield Young Boys have dominated their opponents and on the weekend the Swiss champions dismantled Neuchatel Xamas 5-2.
Those results, in particular, should give YB some confidence. Dinamo, on the other hand, know that they have their work cut out for them.
The Croatian champions faced their farm team, NK Lokomotiva, on matchday 5. Recording a non-inspiring 1-0 win Dinamo seemed to almost play that particular game with their hand breaks on. Zagreb’s dominance over the 1.HNL means that players can be rested for domestic play and with Lokomotiva unlikely to challenge the “parent” team there was no real risk involved.
Whether that rest will help the club on Tuesday, however, remains to be seen. Young Boys have shown great goal-scoring prowess and even by drawing are likely to get a result that will see the Swiss side advance to the next round.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Young Boys – Players to look out for:
Dani Olmo #7 – Dinamo Zagreb
20-year-old Dani Olmo stands out in Dinamo Zagreb’s squad. The youngster is not only one of the club’s biggest talents, he is also a Spanish youth international. Signed from Barça Juvenil B in the summer of 2014 Olmo spent the formative years of his youth career ad Dinamo’s youth academy. A former youth international Olmo played in all five of Dinamo Zagreb’s qualification games this season.
Kevin Mbabu #43 – Young Boys
Kevin Mbabu will be closely watched during this Champions League playoff stage. The Swiss right-back is linked with a move to RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim, Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt. Champions League football without a doubt would mean that Mbabu will stay in Switzerland for one more season. But market mechanisms means that the 23-year-old is high up on the list among Germany’s top clubs, who are looking to strengthen their backline. His goal in the first leg was also not left unnoticed as the game on Tuesday could very much determine Mbabu’s short-term future.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Young Boys – Match Stats
- Swiss champions taking on Croatian titleholders
- YB aiming to make Champions League group stage debut
- Dinamo last featured at that level in 2016/17
- Hosts unbeaten in nine European games (W4 D5)
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb vs Young Boys – 2-2
Dinamo Zagreb vs Young Boys – Lineups
Zagorac – Leovac, Dilaver, Théophile-Catherine, Stojanović – Ademi – Orsić, Olmo, Gojak, Hajrović – Gavranović
Head Coach: Nenad Bjelica
von Ballmoos – Benito, von Bergen, Wüthrich, Mbabu – Sow, Sanogo – Suljmani, Fassnacht – Hoarau, Mouni Ngamaleu
Head Coach: Gerardo Seoane
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.