FC Copenhagen – Rakow Predictions
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FC Copenhagen 1-1 Rakow
Date: 30.08.2023 | Match at: 20:00 | League: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – QUALIFICATION – FINAL | Tip: Home Win | Odds: 1.66 | Bookie: Unibet.
FC Copenhagen – Rakow Predictions and Preview
- It’s all to play for in this UEFA Champions League (UCL) play-off tie between Copenhagen and Raków Częstochowa, with the Danes holding a slender one-goal advantage from the first leg. Copenhagen should be fit and raring to go here, after Jacob Neestrup rested a raft of the starters from that first leg game for their Danish Superliga clash on Saturday, admittedly at the expense of a 3-1 defeat to Silkeborg.
- That result ended their five-match winning start to the Superliga, and Neestrup insisted his side “have to learn” quickly, probably owing to the fact a repeat result here would see them eliminated. It’s hard to see that happening though, as you’d have to go back to 2017 for the last time Copenhagen lost a UCL home game across 90 minutes, which should boost belief that a second-successive UCL group stage appearance is within reach.
- While some of Copenhagen’s key men had reduced duties this weekend, Raków’s players can go one better and say they had the weekend off. With no domestic action, the Polish champions have had time to reflect on last week’s 1-0 home defeat to the Danes and hatch up a plan to live up to manager Dawid Szwarga’s bold claim that they are “capable of winning away”.
- That was certainly something Szwarga tried to make his troops believe straight after the full-time whistle last week, as he gathered his squad in a circle on the pitch to deliver a motivational speech. Whether that serves its purpose or not remains to be seen, but perhaps he’s got every reason to keep spirits high as his side have won the away leg in two of their previous three UCL qualification rounds.
- Players to watch: Mohamed Elyounoussi’s summer move to Copenhagen brought them UCL experience, with five of his six qualification goals in this competition coming before the hour mark. Raków are going to need to score here regardless, and a confident Giannis Papanikolaou might be the man to do just that, with his two-goal return already this season his best scoring campaign since 2018/19, one of which was a game closer away to Flora in UCL qualification round one.
- Hot streak: The away side on the day has scored exactly once in Raków’s last four UCL games.