Santa Clara - Partizan

UEFA Conference League
Asian Handicap
Pick: Partizan +0.25
Odds: 1.52
Stake: 1

Match date: 19/08/2021

Santa Clara from Portugal and Serbian team, Partizan Belgrade are facing each other in the first leg of the final qualifying round for the place in the group stage of the Europa Conference League.

The Portuguese side for the third straight time in these qualifications will need to face one opponent from the region of former Yugoslavia. Against 

Macedonian FK Shkupi and Slovenian Olimpija from Ljubljana, Santa Clara had no major problems and we could say they easily qualified both times. 

But Partizan in my opinion is going to be too high obstacle for the host.  

In some normal circumstances Partizan would probably be only slight favourite to qualify in this two legs tie but in the current situation where Santa Clara practically is missing half of their squad (Covid 19 plus few injuries), Partizan in my opinion is strong favourite to qualify for the group stage. The Serbian team especially should be able to dominate now in the first leg from the few reasons. 

Firstly, I believe Partizan will play here one attacking approach, with some unusual style when the European road game is in question. Namely, I expect from them to try to maybe everything solve now cause who knows what could happen till second leg. It's very possible that Portuguese side could be way stronger for the second match cause enough time will pass till then and it's expected to those players infected by Covid 19 finish with quarantine. Some of them surely will play in the Leg 2. 

Secondly, this is now very bad moment for Portuguese team. Not just they have super short rotation but we are talking about very tight schedule.

Namely against Olimpija on Thursday they had only 14 players, on Sunday against Moreirense there was 15 players in the squad. Now this game against Partizan is arriving and that's third match in week time plus now much more serious opponent. 

In the meeting with Moreirense two more injuries occurred (Ricardinho and Costinha) and the head coach was very furious after the match. First of all he was furious on Moreirense who didn't agree for game to be postponed. 

On the other side Partizan did exactly that. They have decided not to play match against Metalac in the Serbian league and thus had full week to recover from game against Sochi and to prepare for this clash. 

Partizan also had few absent players but far that their situation could be compared with Santa Clara. 

The detailed situation about Partizan's squad is as follows:

Danilo Pantic is definitely out. He got injured during the pregame warming vs Sochi.  

On the same game in defense was missing Lutovac. His father has passed away. Now Lutovac should be in competition to start. On the same position of right-back Miljkovic was absent for a while, the same as Obradovic on the left-back. But both of them entered the game from the bench against Sochi. So obviously they have recovered. 

Also very important player for attack, Soumah entered as substitute, so obviously the problem between him and head coach has been solved.  

Very young winger Jovic was injured too but he started with practice so it's only on head coach to make decision about him.  

Defensive midfielder Scekic is not fully fit but he plays like that already for a while. After all, exactly him has scored 90th minute goal against Sochi that push the game to Extra Time.  

So there are problems here and there but basically only Pantic is surely unavailable. 

This was situation till today but then showed up info that midfielder Sasa Zdjelar could miss this match. He is good player, one of those for whom if you're watching football only as a fan on some amateur level, then you cannot realized how much important role he has. That being said, of course his possible absence is important but still, Partizan is with enough wide squad and counting with current huge problems for Santa Clara, I rate visiting team here as favourite. 

This is probably away win so Partizan AH 0 should be great but let's go with this safe +0.25 where even draw would give us small profit. 

LOST Score: 2:1 Profit: -1
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