Anzhi Makhachkala start their European campaign by playing host to Honved at FK Saturn’s stadium in Ramenskoe and a comfortable home win looks on the cards.
Boasting players like Samuel Eto’o, Chris Samba, Yuri Zhirkov and Mbark Boussoufa, Anzhi clearly have plenty of quality in their ranks as well as a great coach in Guus Hiddink.
Taking everything into account, the hosts should have absolutely no problems against weak Honved and no wonder they are 1.20 (1/5) with Stan James to win the first leg.
Having just completed the first stage of their pre-season training, Guus Hiddink’s side are not fully prepared for the clash with Honved, especially as their final warm-up game was canceled.
The hosts are likely to be without Chris Samba, who has just resumed full training, but new signing Lacina Traore should start.
Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Gabulov – Logashov, Joao Carlos, Tagirbekov, Gadzhibekov – Boussoufa, Jucilei, Akhmedov, Zhirkov – Eto’o, Traore.
Honved were far from impressive last season, but they qualified for the Europa League by finishing in fourth place, albeit just one point above sixth-placed Pecsi.
The poor financial situation forced the club to let go several important players, such as Sorin Botis, Norbert Hajdu, Norbert Nemeth and top scorer Danilo, so we can safely say the team are much weaker than last term.
Honved recorded a double win over Albanian side Flamurtari in the first qualifying round, but the team were pretty fortunate to do so, having been outplayed by their less illustrious opponents in both legs.
With star-studded Anzhi Makhachkala side next on agenda, Honved look set for a major disappointment.
Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Kemenes – Lovric, Debreceni, Ignjatovic, Vidovic – Vernes, Ivancsics, Johnson, Hidi, Tchami – Delczeg.