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Europa League | First Qualifying Round | 1st Leg
Jul 11, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Stadion Miejski im. Henryka Reymana

Wisla Krakow
2 - 0
KF Llapi

Sapala (2'), Rodado (90+5')
Jaroch (62'), Suklenicki (80')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Ramadani (35'), Namani (71'), Musolli (83'), Useini (90+6')

Preview: Wisla Krakow vs. KF Llapi - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Wisla Krakow and KF Llapi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wisla Krakow are set to host KF Llapi at the Stadion Miejski im. Henryka Reymana in the first of a two-legged affair in the first qualifying round for the Europa League on Thursday.

The hosts are set to make their first appearance in European competition since a round of 32 exit from the Europa League in 2011-12, while the visitors are set to make their debut in this competition.

Match preview

Wisla Krakow have a long history in European competitions, most notably reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 1978-79 and the round of 16 of the Europa League in 2002-03, but not since a Europa League round of 32 exit in 2011-12 have they made an appearance.

Their long absence from Europe has coincided with a period of difficulty in the Polish leagues, going from winning eight of the 13 Ekstraklasa titles between 1998-99 and 2010-11 to not winning a title in the following 11 seasons and eventually getting relegated into the second division in 2021-22.

The White Star have gone on to finish fourth and 10th in the second division, but a triumph in the Polish Cup, just the fifth-second division side to ever lift the trophy, has earned them a place in Europa League qualifying for this campaign.

The 2-1 victory against Pogon Szczecin in the cup final was their last victory in all competitions, losing three and drawing one of their final four league matches as well as being defeated in a friendly, leaving them in extremely poor form ahead of this one.

KF Llapi, on the other hand, has had a meteoric rise to the top of the Football Superleague of Kosovo and are now set to compete in the Europa League for the first time after a second-placed finish last campaign.

Kosovar Cup victories in 2020-21 and 2021-22 has meant that KF Llapi have twice attempted to qualify for the Europa Conference League, but they have suffered aggregate defeats in the first qualifying round on both occasions.

Tahir Batatina was first appointed as KF Llapi's manager in 2013 and played a crucial role in their 2015 promotion to the top flight, before briefly serving as sporting director, and returning as manager in 2019, going on to earn a place in qualifying for European competitions in three seasons.

Batatina will now be looking to go one step further than ever before by securing his side's first-ever win in Europe, and they may fancy their chances against a Wisla Krakow side that find themselves in the second division of Polish football.

Team News

Kazimierz Moskal, who was appointed manager in June, is likely to start in a similar 4231 system that he used in his only game in charge of the side so far, a 1-0 friendly loss to Puszcza Niepolomice.

Angel Rodado scored 21 times for Wisla Krakow last season, the most of any player in the division despite his side finishing 10th, and the forward is expected to start here.

As for the visitors, last season's top scorer Muhamet Hyseni departed from the club at the beginning of the summer transfer window and is expected to be replaced in the starting side by either Ardit Tahiri or Valmir Berisha, who both joined the club this summer.

Batatina could line up his side in a similar three-defender system that saw his side finish second in the league, their highest top-flight finish since being promoted in 2015.

Wisla Krakow possible starting lineup:
Chichkan; Jaroch, Uryga, Colley, Duda; Mikulec, Carbo; Baena, Sukiennicki, Mlynski; Rodado

KF Llapi possible starting lineup:
Avdyli; Rama, Leyi, Krasniqi; Vokrri, Musolli, Ahmeti, Namani, Bytyqi; Januzi, Berisha

SM words green background

We say: Wisla Krakow 1-2 KF Llapi

Wisla Krakow may hold the home advantage in this game but their form at the end of last season and throughout pre-season has been extremely poor, while KF Llapi were the best side in their division when playing away from home last campaign, leading us to believe the visitors will win this one.

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

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