Spartak Moscow are being backed to make a winning start in their return to the Champions League for the first time since 2012/13. Only two sides in Russia qualify for Europe’s top-tier club competition and following their second-placed finish in 2011/12, Spartak struggled to make an impact in the domestic title race until they stormed to the league title in 2016/17.
Manager Massimo Carrera enjoyed a great first season in charge with derby wins over the likes of Lokomotive and CSKA Moscow, however things aren’t going quite so well this season with the side sitting mid-table following some inconsistent results thus far. A 1-0 win over Rubin Kazan will have lifted spirits somewhat however and they will be confident of edging past Maribor tonight.
The Slovenians needed to get through three qualifying matches to get to this stage of the competition and whilst the hosts have proven themselves to be very solid in defence, they haven’t been scoring too many goals along the way. Spartak are less solid at the back but they can rely on the likes of Quincy Promes to provide a threat going forward.
Current form may go out of the window in this match as the quality of the respective squads plays a part in deciding the outcome. Spartak may have been a mixed bag of late but there is little evidence to suggest that they will be in for a tough ride by the home side tonight.
Back Spartak Moscow to win and both sides to score at 16/5 with William Hill Free Bet
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