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Discussion Starter #1
UCL:

FK Vardar - GNK Dinamo Zagreb​

After drawing APOEL last time around, Vardar get an even tougher opponent this time.

Even though Vardar have improved as a team since last season and have some experienced heads, I feel Dinamo are a step too far

Undoubtedly there will be big crowd in Skopje and a throwback to the good ole Yugoslav football days

UEL​

FC Vaduz vs. Sileks

FK Rabotnichki vs. FK Budućnost Podgorica

KF Shkēndija vs. KS Cracovia​

Rabotnichki are the only favourites to progress seeing as they normally do okay in Europa League qualifying and have much the same squad as last season. Another ex-Yugoslav match-up as well :D

Shkendija are more likely to cause an upset than Sileks
 

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A mixed bag of results

Sileks unsurprisingly lost but Shkendija surprisingly won

I didn't realise that Rabotnicki lost 4 starters since the end of last season. They still have a chance vs Buducnost but they won't go on a run like last season
 

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Discussion Starter #6
2016/17 Europa League First Round Qualifying Results

Sileks 1 - 2 Vaduz (2-5 agg)

Buducnost 1 - 0 Rabotnichki (2-1 agg)

Cracovia 1 - 2 Shkëndija (1-4 agg)

So, 1 team out of 3 progressing to the next round, which was the most likely.

The only surprise is that Rabotnichki lost and Shkendija pulled off an upset

Shkendija's next matchup is against Neftchi Baku whilst Vardar also play Dinamo next week
 

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Shkendija has decent chance to advance over Neftçi as they r nothing special. btw, they now have Shikov in their team :).

Im very disappointed by Rabotnichki. they faced a montenegrin team that had barely a team after losing most of its players and yet Rabiotnichki managed to get eliminated. Im aware that this team of Rabotnichki is far from the one of last season, but I expected at least to get past Budućnost considering their situation.

for Sileks, I expected to get eliminated. I watched the first game and the first half of the second. in Skopje they played good and had several chances for a decent lead on half-time andf still managed to lose at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just saw the highlights of both of Shkendija's matches and was quite impressed

They dominated the first leg and were just as good as Cracovia in the 2nd leg. They definitely have a chance vs Neftchi, who struggled to get past a Maltese side
 

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Good to see Shkendija succeed , usually albanian clubs just leave the playoffs because of vacations or just fix matches losing. Shkendija seems like Kukesi full of hunger to get a name for the club. Astonished by the outcome of Rabotnichki as Montenegrin league is quite amateur level like luxembourg's , i was expecting Silex and Vardar not to continue knowing who'd they be facing. Good luck against nefchi to Shkendija!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Vardar 1 - 2 Dinamo

Vardar had plenty of chances but were just not clinical

Both unlucky and inexperienced by Vardar and it will pretty much be mission impossible for them going to the Maksimir trailing 2-1

Both a surprising formation and team selection btw:

Pachovski, Hambardzumyan, Grncharov, Mijuskovic, Popov, Spirovski, Gligorov (46' Velkovski), Kojasevic, Juan Felipe, Asani (71' Obregon), Petkovski (46' Jonathan Balotelli)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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Neftçi 0 - 0 Shkëndija

Shkendija looked the better side and would be disappointed not to at least get an away goal

Based on what i've seen i'm confident that they will beat Neftçi in Skopje

The winner of this tie plays Mlada Boleslav from the Czech Republic. Another winnable game.

On the odd chance that Vardar get past Dinamo, they will play either Dinamo Tbilisi or Alashkert
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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Dinamo 3 - 2 Vardar

The first penalty for Dinamo was very soft :facepalm:

Vardar can be very proud of their performances over the 2 legs though

They drew arguably the best team they could and in the end were beaten by a better side

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Shkendija 1 - 0 Neftci

Meanwhile Shkendija despite having the better of the game again had to endure some nervy moments and only come away with a 1-0

At the end of the day though it was enough and they face Mlada Boleslav next where again they have a realistic chance to progress

The only thing that worries me about Shkendija is their lack of depth. They have played the same XI in all 4 games thus far and hardly make a sub. A couple of injuries or suspensions could ruin their run
 

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Shkendija's run continues, nice 2:0 win over 10-man Mlada Boleslav, without conceding the away goal they are in good shape to progress but surely it will still be difficult like it always is with clubs from the region :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah they got a bit lucky with the red card as it was a 50/50 game before then

As you said, they could go and fvck it all up in the second leg though

Ferhan Hasani has been playing some absolutely brilliant stuff. He has matured a lot in recent years and has managed to stay fit which is key for him. He is too good to be playing in the domestic league
 
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