Maribor – Spartak Moscow: 13th September 2017
Forced to play
Nothing in a group where no one gave them a chance, the Maribor slogans dramatically qualified in the UCL groups after defeating the Israelis from Hapoel Beer Sheva, the future FCSB opponent in the groups UEL. Without necessarily impressing through his game, Maribor has scored only one defeat this season in 15 matches played in all competitions. Even so, the big outsiders of the E group have no choice. The Wednesday night at home, in front of Spartak, is probably the easiest mission in this adventure of the UCL groups. Taking into account that the Moscow group is the main contra-candidate of the Slovenians for the third place, they will have to attack. For a possible defeat in the inaugural round in front of, theoretically, the weakest opponent, can only condemn to a sure death: the last position in the group.
The champion in decline
On the other hand, Russia’s en-titre champion is no longer what it was, definitely. Beginning the season’s optimistic, Spartak scored only three victories in nine matches and ran a mediocre 8th place in the Russian championship. With a defensive more than subversive and with an attack that is starting to leave, the current Spartak Moscow is only a shadow of the champion who scandalized last season in the Russian Premier League. Based on this premise, the Slovenians have nothing to lose. Fearing fearless adversary, Maribor may even be able to kick off Wednesday night.