Wednesday's Champions League second legs
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Competition top scorer Michael Wilde is gunning for Videoton, Dundalk hope to upset BATE and both Astana and Sarajevo believe in comebacks: we preview Wednesday's ties.
Article top media content
The UEFA Champions League second qualifying round second legs conclude on Wednesday with the draw for the next stage already set; our correspondents mark your cards.
Wilde tops rankings with TNS
The New Saints' all-time top scorer in the Welsh Premier League, Michael Wilde has a new distinction as the top scorer in 2015/16 UEFA Champions League qualifying – albeit after three games.
A first qualifying round hat-trick against B36 Tórshavn took the 32-year-old to the top of the rankings. "I was made up to get on the scoresheet," said Wilde after the victory over B36. "But to get three is a massive bonus, especially in the Champions League. It's something that you dream of." A few more goals would be welcome as TNS look to overturn a 1-0 deficit at Videoton.
Winners play: BATE Borisov or Dundalk
Dundalk gunning for BATE
Forward David McMillan is hoping an upset is on the cards after scoring an away goal as Irish champions Dundalk went down 2-1 against group-stage regulars BATE Borisov in Belarus.
"They won't fancy coming to Oriel Park," said the 26-year-old. "We are confident now. We have a better idea of what we're up against coming back now that we have played them. It was important that we didn't concede late in the game the other night. A lot of Irish teams would have done that in the past. It’s tough physically to keep going when you're chasing a lot of balls."
Winners play: TNS or Videoton
Sarajevo travelling with hope
Sarajevo lost 2-0 at home to Lech Poznań in the first leg – game over, surely. Not so, though, for the Bosnian champions, who made it through two rounds in UEFA Europa League qualifying last year, twice winning 3-1 away. "Last season we played better as guests," said midfielder Samir Radovac, 19. "Let's hope that's the case this season too." However, Lech's Bosnian goalkeeper Jasmin Burić is not expecting any nasty shocks. "We know that Sarajevo are good away, but our advantage is unassailable," he said.
Winners play: Basel
Astana still hopeful
One goal down after the first leg against Maribor, Astana approach the home return below full strength. First-choice goalkeeper Nenad Erić has been out injured before the trip to Slovenia, and now their key attacking midfielder Foxi Kéthévoama is doubtful for the second leg. That said, Stanimir Stoilov's men are in good shape having beaten Zhetysu Taldykorgan 2-1 to move to within one point of the Kazakh Premier League lead on Saturday. "We need to act wisely and we need the support of the crowd until the very last second," Stoilov said. "We will give our best and will try to play at the highest possible level. If we can, that's great. Though the first-leg result leaves us in a very difficult situation, we played a good game in Maribor and the lads did well."
Winners play: HJK Helsinki