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Jul 6, 2022 at 7.30pm UK at Štadión Tehelné pole
Slovan Bratislava
0 - 0
Dinamo Batumi

Barseghyan (53'), Saponjic (90+4')

Teidi (1'), Kobakhidze (26'), Chabradze (75'), Kupatadze (90+4'), Rekhviashvili (90+4')
Kobakhidze (42')

Preview: Slovan Bratislava vs. Dinamo Batumi - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Slovan Bratislava vs. Dinamo Batumi - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Slovan Bratislava and Dinamo Batumi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Slovan Bratislava and Dinamo Batumi begin their respective Champions League campaigns with Wednesday's Qualifying first-round first-leg tie at Tehelne pole.

Either Tobol of Ferencvaros will await the winners of the tie in the second round, while the losers will be forced to battle for their right to play in the Europa Conference League.

Match preview

A fourth consecutive Slovakian First League title was wrapped up in convincing fashion by Slovan Bratislava last term, but translating their domestic success into a first-ever Champions League group-stage appearance has been a tall order for the national champions.

Vladimir Weiss's side only managed to reach the second round of Qualifying last term before falling to the superiority of BSC Young Boys, but they were able to make the Europa Conference League, ultimately finishing third in Group F behind Copenhagen and PAOK.

Bratislava have hardly enjoyed a confidence-boosting pre-season period either, winning just one of their exhibition matches since the start of June, although all five of those encounters were on the road.

On a brighter note, the Slovakian champions - who have also managed to reach the group stage of the Europa League on three occasions - have gone nearly 11 years without suffering a Champions League Qualifying defeat at home - winning four and drawing three such games since.

Set to make the trek from Georgia, reigning Erovnuli Liga champions Dinamo Batumi - who won their first-ever top-flight title in 2021 - have already made great strides in their efforts to finish atop the podium again this time around.

Gia Geguchadze's men have taken 47 points from 60 on offer so far to surge to the top of the rankings in Georgia - nine points clear of Dinamo Tbilisi - and their unbeaten streak in the top division stands at a whopping 17 matches ahead of Wednesday's first leg.

Dinamo Batumi's most recent encounter saw them storm to a 4-1 win over closest challengers Tbilisi, and Geguchadze's side have kindly been given a couple of weeks off from domestic duties in order to aid their European conquest.

It will not come as much of a surprise to learn that Wednesday's game will mark the visitors' maiden appearance in any Champions League round, but they have been knocked out of Europa League Qualifying in the first round three times and fell in round three of the 2021-22 Europa Conference League qualifiers to Sivasspor.

Slovan Bratislava form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Dinamo Batumi form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Slovan Bratislava have made an astute acquisition in the transfer market in the form of Juraj Kucka, who joined on a free transfer from Parma after unsuccessfully trying to keep Watford afloat in the Premier League last term.

Kucka could be handed his first competitive start for the club in the engine room this week, but two goalkeepers in Michal Sulla and Martin Trnovsky are both reported to be nursing injuries.

The hosting manager's son and namesake Vladimir Weiss will be battling for a start out wide, but Dynamo Kiev loanee Eric Ramirez is not on the squad list for this game, so Ivan Saponjic ought to lead the line.

As for Dinamo Batumi, the Georgian champions have now parted ways with highly-rated attacker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has completed his permanent switch to Italian powerhouses Napoli.

However, the visitors' star man Flamarion already has 14 goals and seven assists to his name in 2022 and will relish the opportunity to lead the line in Europe, but Guga Palavandishvili is suspended.

Benjamin Teidi and Sandro Altunashvili will expect to partner up in the middle in that case, while Mamuka Kobakhidze will wear the captain's armband for his side's first-ever Champions League game.

Slovan Bratislava possible starting lineup:
Chovan; Pauschek, Voet, Abena, De Marco; Kucka, Agbo; Hrncar, Chakvetadze, Weiss; Saponjic

Dinamo Batumi possible starting lineup:
Kupatadze; Chabradze, Kobakhidze, Azatskyi, Azarovi; Teidi, Altunashvili; Davitashvili, Bidzinashvili, Jigauri; Flamarion

We say: Slovan Bratislava 1-1 Dinamo Batumi

Slovan Bratislava may have the edge in terms of continental experience and recognisable faces, but take nothing away from Dinamo Batumi's remarkable success story, and the visitors will travel to Slovakia feeling capable of going toe-to-toe with their hosts.

Wednesday's game will prove to be a trickier affair than what the Georgian champions are used to back home, but we can envisage a low-scoring draw on the cards, with Bratislava hardly laying down a marker in pre-season.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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