The Slovenia Times

Maribor Looks to Jump Final Hurdle to Champions League


After stumbling at the final hurdle in the previous two seasons, Maribor will look to go a step further against the Glasgow club in the two-leg playoff.

The most successful Slovenian club last qualified for the Champions League in 1999 and many domestic football analysts believe that this year presents the best shot to date to repeat the feat.

The Scottish club made it past the third round thanks to sheer good luck, after being blown out 6-1 by Legia Warsaw, only for the Polish side to be disqualified due to an illegal substitution.

Maribor has looked solid in wins against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Zrinjski Mostar in the previous rounds.

Coach Ante Simundža is not expected to make changes from the squad which defeated Maccabi two weeks ago. "Our preparations have gone according to plan and we know what we want...Everyone is ready for the match," he told the press in Maribor on Tuesday.

Šimundža said the biggest challenge will be stopping Celtic's quick counter attacks, while on the offensive side, the Slovenian club will look to control the middle of the field.


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