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Europa League | First Qualifying Round | 1st Leg
Jul 11, 2024 at 6pm UK
Futbalovy stadion MFK Ruzomberok

5 - 2

Gabriel (11', 88'), Selecky (40'), Maly (45+3'), Madlenak (77')
Gabriel (56'), Selecky (66'), Luteran (90+2')
FT(HT: 3-2)
Ivanovic (9'), Henen (45')
Chesnokov (33'), Gabaraev (47'), Shakhov (64'), Alioune N'Diaye (90+1'), Miladinovic (90+1')

Preview: MFK Ruzomberok vs. Tobol - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between MFK Ruzomberok and Tobol, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On Thursday, MFK Ruzomberok of Slovakia will play host to Kazakhstan side Tobol in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying tie.

The team that prevails over the two legs will go on to face Turkish Super club Trabzonspor in the second qualifying round.

Match preview

Ruzomberok may have finished outside the top three last season, but they can still look forward to a European campaign thanks to their success in the Slovak Cup.

Adam Tucny scored the decisive goal in May's final against Spartak Trnava to help his club win the trophy for the first time since 2005-06.

The Slovakian side are now set to make their first Europa League appearance since losing to Servette in the first qualifying round in the 2020-21 season.

Having faltered in their last two appearances at this stage of the competition, Ruzomberok are looking to win in the first round of Europa League qualifying for the first time since beating Vojvodina Novi Sad in 2017-18.

They did, however, prevail in the first round of Europa Conference League qualifying in their most recent European campaign in 2022-23, beating Kauno Zalgiris over two legs before falling to Riga in the second stage.

Like their hosts, Tobol are competing in UEFA competition as a result of their success in a domestic cup competition.

Tobol claimed a narrow victory over Ordabasy in November's final to win the competition for just the second time in the club's history.

While Ruzomberok are yet to begin their campaign, Tobal are nearly halfway through the Kazakhstan Premier League season, picking up 19 points from 12 matches to leave them two points adrift of the top three.

In their most recent outing, Milic Curcic's side claimed a 2-0 win in the League Cup to make it three consecutive matches without defeat.

They will now turn their focus to their European campaign, and they may be able to take some inspiration from last year's run in Europa Conference League qualifying, where they ousted Honka, Basel and Derry City before falling at the final hurdle against Viktoria Plzen.

MFK Ruzomberok form (friendlies):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

Tobol form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Tomas Fruhwald is expected to start in goal for the hosts, while Daniel Kostl, Simon Gabriel and Matus Maly are in contention to line up in a back three.

At the opposite end of the pitch, Ondrej Smetana could select a forward line made up of Jan Hladik, Adam Tucny and Martin Chien.

As for the visitors, goalkeeper Stas Pokatilov could be protected by a backline featuring Albert Gabaraev, Pape-Alioune Ndiaye, Ivan Miladinovic and Roman Asrankulov.

Igor Ivanovic will pose one of the visitor's main attacking threats, having scored four goals and provided two assists in 12 league matches this season.

MFK Ruzomberok possible starting lineup:
Fruhwald: Gabriel, Kostl, Maly; Luteran, Lavrincik, Mudry, Selecky; Hladik, Tucny, Chien

Tobol possible starting lineup:
Pokatilov; Gabaraev, Ndiaye, Miladinovic, Asrankulov; Shakhov, Essien; Ivanovic, El Messaoudi, Chesnokov; Cooper

SM words green background

We say: MFK Ruzomberok 2-2 Tobol

Tobol proved in last season's Europa League qualifying that they can compete on the European stage, and we think that they will do enough to hold Ruzomberok to a draw, which would represent a positive result ahead of the second leg on home turf.

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

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