There is nothing like the aura of some Champions League Football.
Now in the full swing after the annual summer break for many of these European clubs, it is back to business and matches.
Fitness is expected to be back up for the upcoming season that is kicking off in late July.
The Champion’s League qualification is one rigid tournament and it really tests the best clubs’ mentality and how bad they actually want to make it to the big stage.
Many of these teams are quality clubs who are on top of their respective domestic leagues but got bad luck when it comes to draws and results.
The motivation every club has in this stage of the tournament is next to none which means it will come down to the smallest details.
Quality is not a cause for concern in these qualifiers because of how well they have done to get to this point.
Whether it be leaders of their domestic divisions or titans from last year’s Champions League iteration, there are battles in every single match that takes place in this competition.
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Matchday Previews and Analysis
Game 1 - Maccabi Haifa (Israel) vs Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece)
This quarter-final draw is one of the harshest in the field and it pits two dominant domestic forces against each other for a spot to advance into the semi-finals of CL Qualification.
Maccabi Haifa is one of the best teams in Europe historically although the past few seasons have reflected some lackluster results.
Their talent is not in question, though, and they are going to be motivated to face their continental rivals in Greece.
Dominating teams from the front, Haifa have a great set of attackers and their depth runs through the squad.
Pace and skill is what they thrive off of, which will make for a very topsy-turvy contest.
Olympiacos Piraeus is a household name in European soccer and has been on the map for decades.
The talent which they attract is the top in Greece, oftentimes leaving for bigger clubs to win better trophies.
This draw is cruel for both sides, but Olympiacos thrives off events going haywire.
They can absolutely ambush teams with their physicality while also being crafty in the midfield when it comes to passing and dribbling.
Finesse isn’t a word I’d use to describe this Olympiacos team, but they do have the tools to push opponents to the brink.
Prediction - Olympiacos gets by due to experience and consistency.
Game 2 - Dynamo Kyiv (Ukraine) vs Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Dynamo Kyiv does not have the best situation heading into these CL Qualifiers as their home stadium is currently not able to play in, due to the conditions in their country now.
A very sad circumstance, they have done well to get this far and hope to make a Cinderella run to another Champions League group stage.
Defensively, there have been holes in Kyiv over the past few years but that should change with upcoming young talent and signings.
They will be hard-pressed in this tie as they practically do not have a necessary “home” game, which will be a hindrance.
Fenerbahce is licking their chops at an opportunity to make history in the Turkish region by advancing to another round of CL Qualifiers.
Their advantage is penciled in with the neutral home stadium from Kyiv which means there are opportunities in both legs for the Turks.
They have an all-around solid squad and will come to play when the time comes.
Finishing is not a problem for these guys, who are as clinical as you can be.
Prediction - Back the Turkish Fenerbahce in a hard-fought contest between two desperate teams.
April 11, 2023
April 12, 2023