Preview: Dnipro-1 vs. Slavia Prague

Preview: Dnipro-1 vs. Slavia Prague

Slavia Prague carry a healthy 3-0 lead into the second leg of their Europa League qualifying showdown with Dnipro-1 on Thursday evening.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the second leg will take place in Kosice, Slovakia, with the Czech side firmly in control of the tie.

Dnipro-1 found themselves 2-0 down inside 37 minutes of the first leg following a quick-fire brace from Ivan Schranz, while Vaclav Jurecka had a goal disallowed early in the second half.

Igoh Ogbu’s 58th-minute red card gave the Ukrainian side a glimmer of hope, but they ultimately failed to make the most of the one-man advantage, with Conrad Wallem coming off the bench to score Slavia’s third late on.

Three days later, Dnipro-1 were held to a 1-1 draw by Minai in the Ukrainian Premier League, with Domingo Blanco netting a 93rd-minute equaliser from the penalty spot following Eduard Sarapiy’s sending off just after half time.

It would not be unfair to say that Oleksandr Kucher’s men have struggled to find their feet in the 2023-24 season, as they have managed to win just one of their five outings across all competitions.

Having suffered a 5-3 aggregate loss to Greek club Panathinaikos in the Champions League second qualifying round, Dnipro-1 will be desperate to turn things around against Slavia Prague and secure European football.

While Dnipro-1 have experienced an inconsistent start to the new campaign, Slavia Prague have kicked off the 2023-24 season with five consecutive wins across all competitions.

Following three straight victories in the Czech Liga, Jindrich Trpisovsky’s men made light work of Dnipro-1 before defeating Mlada Boleslav 1-0 on Sunday, racking up 15 shots while preventing the hosts from registering a single attempt on target.

Despite winning each of their opening four league games – scoring eight goals while conceding just twice – Slavia find themselves second in the Czech top flight behind arch-rivals Sparta Prague, who have netted 13 goals across four victories this term.

Still, the Red and Whites will be happy with their early-season efforts and confident of regaining their domestic crown, having clinched three straight Czech Liga titles between 2018-19 and 2020-21 before finishing as runners-up in each of the past two campaigns.

It goes without saying that Slavia will also be confident of booking their place in the next phase of Europa League qualification, as they already have one foot in the playoff round.

Dnipro-1 Europa League form:

Dnipro-1 form (all competitions):

Slavia Prague Europa League form:

Slavia Prague form (all competitions):

We say: Dnipro-1 1-3 Slavia Prague
Given that Slavia Prague have won each of their opening five matches this season – scoring 11 goals while keeping three clean sheets – we expect the Red and Whites to notch another straightforward victory over Dnipro-1.

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