Hungarian champions Ferencvaros look to take one step closer to the group stage of Europe’s premier competition on Tuesday, when they meet Lithuania’s FK Zalgiris in Budapest.
The hosts were runaway winners of their domestic league last season, while finishing bottom of Champions League Group G, so will seek another shot at the big time by making it through the second qualifying round.
Ferencvaros won the championship easily in the last season, and they scored a lots of goals in the first round of the qualifiers as well.
Having enjoyed a rare taste of mixing with the cream of European football last year, when they competed with Juventus, Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League group stage, Ferencvaros are intent on returning to the continent’s top table again this term.
While coach Serhiy Rebrov recently departed for UAE’s Al-Ain, following a successful spell at the Budapest club, new coach Peter Stoger – once briefly in charge of Borussia Dortmund – has safely guided his team through the first round of the qualification process.
The Vilnius-based club have been in action in the A Lyga since March and currently top the table once again, just two points clear of Suduva, who they will face between the two legs of this European tie.
This will be the first ever meeting between Ferencvarosi and Zalgiris.
Though Zalgiris are on a long unbeaten run and certainly should be more match fit, Ferencvaros are a step up in class for the men from Vilnius, so their back line could be breached more than once on Tuesday.
The visitors do, pose a distinct threat in the final third, so can find the net themselves to keep slim hopes of a second-leg comeback alive.
Our prediction: Ferencvaros win @ 1.70