Dukagjini host Rijeka at the Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League second qualifying round on Thursday (July 27).
The hosts began their campaign in the first qualifying round, where they beat Europa of Gibraltar 5-3 on aggregate, thanks in large part to IIaz Zylfiu. The Serbia striker scored three times, including a brace in the away fixture.
The Kosovo team are participating in the competition for the first time. Hithat’s emphatic win in the first qualifying round came with a huge cost, though, as two players were given marching orders for rough tackles. Manager Armend Dallku expressed his fears on what to expect from his team going forward, “if we continue to play like this, we could end up conceding a red card in each game.”
Rijeka, meanwhile, earned a bye to the second qualifying round after finishing fourth in the Croatian Football League last season. They’re returning for the third time following their participation in the previous two editions, reaching the playoff round last year. Manager Sergej Jakirovic says they have the resources to do better this time.
RJK are unbeaten in five games across competitions, scoring 13 goals. However, they have been successful only twice in five trips, but Jakirovic can count on his effective defence as they set out for Pristina. The visitors have conceded only once in ten games.
Dukagjini vs Rijeka Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- Dukagjini have scored 11 goals and conceded seven in their last five games.
- The hosts have won thrice and drawn twice in their last five home games.
- Dukagjini have played only two UEFA games as opposed to 98 for Rijeka.
- Rijeka have won twice, drawn twice and lost once in their last five road outings.
- Dukagjini have won four times and lost once in their last five games, while Rijeka have won four times and drawn once in the same period.
- Form Guide: Dukagjini: W-W-L-W-W; Rijeka: W-W-W-W-D
Dukagjini vs Rijeka Prediction
Dukagjini released their top scorer Otto John at the end of the season, recalling Abedin Merlaku from loan to take his place, but IIaz Zylfiu has been a bright spot since then.
Meanwhile, Rijeka’s top performer, Matija Frigan, who scored 14 goals, has left for Westerlo. New signing Niko Jankovic is expected to lead the attack and has scored twice so far.
Dukagjini will likely struggle against a more experienced side like Rijeka, but home advantage could keep them afloat in the tie. Expect a high-scoring stalemate.
Prediction: Dukagjini 2-2 Rijeka
Dukagjini vs Rijeka Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result – Draw
Tip 2: Game to have over 2.5 goals – Yes
Tip 3: Dukagjini to score first – Yes
Tip 4: Rijeka to score – Yes