Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Balzan coach banking on ‘small club, big heart’ mentality
Jul 26, 2018
Posted in:
General
BOV Premier League
Balzan coach Marko Micovic addressing the media. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA
Balzan coach Marko Micovic addressing the media. Photo: Joe Borg/MFA

Balzan FC coach Marko Micovic wants his players and fans to live up to their club’s motto ‘Small club, big heart’ when they meet Slovan Bratislava in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday (18.00).


The experienced Slovakian side start as favourites to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League but Micovic wants his side to give it their best shot in the hope of causing a surprise.

 

“We expect a tough game against very strong opponents but we hope to pull off a surprise,” Micovic said.

 

“We are facing a club with a rich tradition in all aspects of football, they are giants compared to us. However, as I said in the press conference before our home match against FK Keshla in the previous round, nobody can take away from us the right to hope and dream.

 

“We believe in the quality of our team.”

 

Asked to rate his team’s chances of setting up a clash with Austrian team Rapid Vienna, Micovic said: “They are clearly the favourites but remember we are the motto... small club, big heart”.

 

Serbian striker Andrija Majdevac is suspended for Balzan following his dismissal in the dying stages of the second-leg match against FK Keshla in Bakuy last week.

 

Balzan players Steve Bezzina, the team captain, and Michael Johnson struck an upbeat note, saying that they have been preparing well for these games while the club now has more European experience.


Balzan are appearing in the second round of the Europa League for the first time in their history after beating FK Keshla, of Azerbaijan, 5-3 on aggregate.

 

For their part, Slovan Bratislava hammered Moldovan team Milsami 9-2 on aggregate in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.

 

VALLETTA IN BOSNIA

 

Valletta will also be in action on Thursday evening as they face Bosnian champions Zrinjski in Mostar in the first leg of their Europa League second qualifying round match (kick-off 19.00).

 

Both Valletta and Zrinjski have dropped into the Europa League following their elimination from the Champions League.

 

The Maltese champions will be looking to gain a positive result in the away leg to boost their chances of advancing to the third qualifying round of the Europa League where a match against the winners of the game between Bulgaria’s Ludogorets and Hungary’s Vidi awaits.

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