Malmo vs Hibernian preview

July 17, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Malmo FFHaving rolled over Drogheda United in the first qualifying round, Malmo FF face Scottish Hibernian in an attempt to get one step closer to the Europa League group stages.

The Blues may be one of the most famous clubs in Sweden, but the fact is they haven’t been too impressive of late.

Malmo FF have only won two league titles since 1988, while their performances in Europe left a lot to be desired as well.

The team did make it to Europa League group stages in 2011, but could only win one point in what was a pretty weak group.

Having finished the previous league campaign in third place, Malmo had to settle for a place in Europa League qualifiers, where they recorded a 2-0 aggregate win over Drogheda.

With two league wins seeing the Blues climb to the top of Swedish Allsvenskan, they look a good bet to see off Hibernian as well, with Sportingbet paying 1.45 (9/20) on home win.

Seeing as how there are no fresh injuries to report, boss Rikard Norling is expected to field the same side that recorded a 4-0 win over Atvidaberg at the weekend.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Dahlin – Albornoz, Jansson, E. Johansson, Ricardinho – Hamad, Friberg, Halsti, Thern – Forsberg, Erikson.

Hibernian have been handed a tough draw at the start of their Europa League campaign, but some would say they didn’t even deserve the European qualification.

Hibs couldn’t do better than a seventh-place finish in Rangers-less Scottish Premier League, although they did make it to Scottish Cup final, where they were hammered 3-0 by Celtic.

With their league campaign not due to start for another 20 days, the Malmo clash clearly comes at a bad time for Pat Fenlon’s side, but they, nonetheless, plan to make the most out of this opportunity.

The club have made some decent signings over the summer, bringing Kevin Thompson, Rowan Vine, Owain Tudur-Jones, Ryan McGivern and Fraser Mullen, but new players might need some time to properly gel.

Hibernian were far from impressive in pre-season, sharing spoils with Raith Rovers in their final warm-up game, so no wonder they are no less than 7.50 (13/2) with bet365 to win in Sweden.

The good news is all new signings are eligible to face Malmo, while there are no new injury worries to report at the moment.

Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Williams – Clancy, McPake, Hanlon, McGivern – Robetson, Cairney, Taiwo, Thompson, Craig – Vine.

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