F91 Dudelange became famous for eliminating Red Bull Salzburg in the previous round, but they could do nothing to prevent a 4-1 defeat in the first leg against Maribor.
The side from Luxembourg will at least try to say goodbye to the competition with a win, but their chances in this match are not that great. F91 Dudelange started their European campaign with 11-0 aggregate victory over Tre Penne, but despite the impressive showing in the first qualifying round, they were given no chances to make life difficult for Red Bull Salzburg. Even after the minnows from Luxembourg recorded a 1-0 victory in the first leg, Salzburg were seen as hot favourites to go through, but F91 Dudelange managed to shock their opponents once again and made it through after the 4-3 defeat in the return leg. Didier Philippe’s side were expected to make life difficult for Maribor as well, but they were completely outclassed by the Slovenian side and lost the first game 4-1. Given that all Slovenian sides are famous for taking all their games seriously, I don’t see how F91 are going to fare much better in this match.
NK Maribor had invested piles of cash into new players last summer and they more than justified the favourite’s tag by winning the Slovenian League with a 20-point cushion at the top. The team have since stayed without striker Etjen Velikonja, but that didn’t prove to be a problem as Maribor enjoyed a really good start to the season. While taking 10 points from their first four league games, the Purples did well to record a 6-2 aggregate win over Bosnian champions Zeljeznicar, arguably much stronger side than F91 Dudelange. After recording a 4-1 victory over the side from Luxembourg in the first leg, boss Darko Milanic decided to rest most of his starters in the 1-0 win over Triglav, which proves the visitors are taking this game very seriously.