Mlada Boleslav face an uphill task following the 2-0 defeat in Enschede, especially as the hosts are missing quite a few starters through injury. Twente, on the other hand, are looking to record another victory and thus keep the spirits high before the start of their Eredivisie campaign.
The Czechs are in pieces
Mlada Boleslav clinched the final Europa League berth by finishing the league campaign in 4th place, 16 points behind champions Slovan Liberec. However, rather than reinforcing the squad over the summer, the club chiefs allowed several important players to leave the club, such as Jan Stohanzl, Tomas Fabian, Lukas Opiela, Marek Kulic and Ondej Zahustel, while failing to sign proper replacements. The team, nevertheless, eased off to a 4-0 aggregate win over Icelandic side Thor, but they could do nothing to avoid a 2-0 defeat to Twente in the first leg, heaving been completely outclassed by their more illustrious opponents. Miroslav Koubek’s side are still missing a couple of players through injury, and with the Dutch team taking the return leg very seriously, another defeat looks on the cards.
Keeper Seda and defender Sirl have returned into action after recovering from injury, but Rolko, Janicek, Smejkal and Charmosta remain sidelined.
Twente searching for another victory
The poor finish of the season cost the team a chance to fight for Champions League places, but at least the Tukkers managed to qualify for Europe by beating RKC Waalwijk in the play-offs. The squad have since stayed without Luuk de Jong, Ola John and Emir Bajrami, but Andreas Bjelland, Dusan Tadic, Luc Castaignos, Robert Schilder, Felipe Gutierrez and Dmitri Bulykin all arrived to De Grolsch Veste. The Tukkers obviously needed some time to integrate the new players into the squad, which can explain some under-par showings in pre-season and 1-1 home draw against Inter Turku, but the 5-0 away win over the Finnish side proved the Tukkers are slowly returning to the right track. Following the comfortable win over Mlada Boleslav that could have been achieved by a bigger margin, Twente look a good bet to beat the Czechs away from home as well.
New signing Luc Castaignos is ineligible, while Denny Landzaat, Nils Roseler, Sander Boschker and Tim Breukers have stayed in the Netherlands. Keeper Nikolay Mihaylov is doubtful.
Mlada Boleslav are not only much weaker than last term, but they are also missing almost all starting defenders through injury, which should guarantee us another one-sided affair. Twente are looking good at the moment and they are very motivated to continue the good run of results.
Our prediction: Away win
Odds: 1.83 (5/6)
Bookmaker: Stan James