Europa League

Lech Poznan (Pol) – Utrecht (Ned) 1 1.80 2-2 lose

Usually Dutch teams aren’t reliable in European competitions. Utrecht are not a team that plays a lot in Europe. Their previous good performance is in 2010 when they reached the group stages of Europa League and in the previous decade they once reached the group stages of the UEFA Cup. Their last presence in Europe is in 2013 when they got knocked out by a team from Luxembourg. Most important thing regarding this pick is the loss of players they suffered this summer : Ludwig (20/m/1),Barazite (37/m/8),Ruiter (15/g/0),Rosheuvel (28/m/4),Zivkovic(34/f/9),Conboy(17/d/1),Brama(18/m/0),Amrabat(34/m/1),Haller(36/f/15). Lech also lost some players this summer : Wilusz(20/d/0), Bednarek(27/d/1),Kownacki(27/f/9),Kedziora(36/d/1) and Robak (37/f/18). Also, Jevtic (31/m/8) is injured while new signing De Marco is doubtful. But the main difference is Lech started their season with a month earlier, played against Pelister on the 29th of June while Utrecht played their first official on the 13th of July. Also, the Polish side already played 8 games this season while the Dutchs played 3 and 2 of them were against the modest Valletta, a team that they eliminated only because of the clear difference of value. Still, they struggled a bit in Malta, got only a 0-0 draw but in Holland won 3-1. First leg was dominated by Lech, they only had two good chances to score but the initiative was theirs while Utrecht practically did not existed in that game, only had one chance to score : from a free kick from 30 meters away in the stoppage time of the first half. Lech at home are strong, have good supporters, they already had a tough opponent this summer : Haugesund which eliminated with a 2-0 home win after losing the first leg 2-3 in Norway. I rate Haugesund being at the same level as Utrecht, if they managed to win against the Norwegians at home who have the advantage of being in full season I don’t see why they won’t eliminate a team that struggled in the first leg, in friendlies (they scored only two goals in 4 games, drew two, lost two) and against a modest team from Malta.