MX23RW : Tuesday, September 21 12:01:51| >> :600:2263171:2263171:
Jul 21, 2021 at 7.30pm UK at Štadión Tehelné pole
Slovan BratislavaSlovan Bratislava
Young BoysYoung Boys

de Kamps (54')

Siebatcheu (38'), Aebischer (51'), Camara (59'), Lefort (86')

Preview: Slovan Bratislava vs. Young Boys - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Slovan Bratislava and Young Boys, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The National football stadium in Slovakia plays host to Wednesday's Champions League second qualifying round tie between Slovan Bratislava and BSC Young Boys, overseen by English referee Chris Kavanagh.

The hosts advanced to this stage courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate victory over Shamrock Rovers, while Young Boys enter at this round courtesy of their Swiss Super League success last term.

Match preview

Georgia coach Vladimir Weiss pictured on March 25, 2019© Reuters

A 1,500-strong crowd turned up to the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin to witness Shamrock Rovers try to overturn a 2-0 deficit from their first leg against Slovan Bratislava on July 13, as the Slovakian champions travelled to Ireland in the driving seat following Rafael Ratao's first-leg brace.

The Irish side did strike twice on home soil through Graham Burke's spot kick and Richie Towell's effort to set up a fascinating finale, but Bratislava's creative hub Vladimir Weiss made the net ripple in the 73rd minute to see his side advance by the narrowest of margins.

Interestingly, the 31-year-old is the third generation of Vladimir Weiss's to make a name for themselves in the game, as his father oversaw their victory against Shamrock Rovers from the dugout, and Weiss Sr was part of the Czechoslovakian football team that took silver at the 1964 Olympics.

Family ties aside, Slovan Bratislava manager Weiss has now broken the first-round curse that bedevilled his side in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 tournaments, but the closest that Bratislava have come to the group stages was in the 2014-15 season, when they fell to BATE Borisov at the final hurdle.

The Fortuna Liga champions' defence of their domestic crown will also begin this weekend with a trip to Liptovsky Mikulas, but Weiss's men must seek to take advantage of familiar surroundings on Wednesday before the sides renew hostilities at the Wankdorf Stadium next week.

Young Boys players celebrate scoring against CSKA Sofia in the Europa League on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Young Boys - now under the tutelage of former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner - have endured a mixed bag of results in pre-season, the most recent game of which saw them play out a 2-2 draw with Strasbourg on July 13.

The Swiss Super League champions - who scooped their fourth successive domestic title in the 2020-21 season - also overcame Neuchatel Xamax and Feyenoord last month, but a 1-0 defeat to Austrian side Rheindorf Altach did dampen the spirits somewhat.

However, Young Boys have a knack for progressing during the earliest stages of European competition, as they have not been dumped out at this point in qualifying since the 2004-05 campaign, although they have only ever made the Champions League group stages once in the 2018-19 season.

Young Boys' European pedigree far outweighs that of their opponents, but Wagner is under pressure to kickstart his Swiss career in perfect fashion following his torrid time with Schalke 04, and the winner of this tie will face either Lincoln Red Imps or CFR Cluj in the third round of qualifying.

Bratislava and Young Boys are meeting for the third time in European competition this week, with the Swiss side winning both of their Europa League games versus Bratislava in the 2014-15 group stage by an aggregate score of 8-1.

Slovan Bratislava Champions League form:
  • W
  • L

Team News

Bratislava manager Weiss has a few absentees to contend with for the first leg, as Michal Sulla's illness guarantees another start for Adrian Chovan in between the sticks.

Lucas Lovat, Erik Daniel and David Holman are all nursing injuries in the treatment room, but changes may still be afoot after Shamrock Rovers gave the hosts quite a scare in Dublin.

Weiss's introduction for the second leg paid dividends and he should not be dropped by his father, but Ezekiel Henty failed to fire over the course of 180 minutes and could be sacrificed for a midfielder in Ibrahim Rabiu.

Wagner is not the only new face to arrive at Young Boys this summer, as teenage midfielder Alex Jankewitz and forward Jordan Siebatcheu have arrived from Southampton and Rennes respectively.

However, Jankewitz featured for the Under-21s side in a recent 5-0 defeat to Yverdon and may not be considered for selection here, and joining him for that drubbing on Saturday were first-teamers Christopher Martins Pereira and Marvin Spielmann.

Two key names in captain Fabian Lustenberger and star striker Jean-Pierre Nsame are both out with Achilles tendon ruptures, with the latter's absence all but guaranteeing a front two of Siebatcheu and Felix Mambimbi.

Slovan Bratislava possible starting lineup:
Chovan; Medvedev, Bozhikov, Kashia, De Marco; De Kamps, Kankava, Rabiu; Cavric, Ratao, Weiss

Young Boys possible starting lineup:
Von Ballmoos; Hefti, Camara, Zesiger, Garcia; Elia, Aebischer, Rieder, Ngamaleu; Mambimbi, Siebatcheu

SM words green background

We say: Slovan Bratislava 0-2 Young Boys

The losses of Lustenberger and Nsame are undoubtedly huge blows for Wagner as he begins his continental quest with Young Boys, but the Swiss powerhouses should still have too much for their Slovakian counterparts as they take a healthy lead into next week's second leg.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

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General view of Southampton's St Mary's Stadium taken February 2018
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Young Boys sign Alex Jankewitz from Southampton on permanent deal
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