St Patrick’s Athletic vs CSKA Sofia Match Review
August 10, 2022
In the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League, St. Patrick’s Athletic will host CSKA Sofia.
Last week’s incredible victory in Bulgaria by the runners-up of the Irish league made them the favorites to advance to the next round of the competition.
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St Patrick’s Athletic vs CSKA Sofia Betting odds
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St Patrick’s Athletic vs CSKA Sofia Tips and Prediction
Similar to how they advanced against NS Mura in the previous round a team that defeated Tottenham Hotspur in this competition last season St Patrick’s put on a masterclass of defensive organization and application in Sofia last week.
The Athletic were defying the odds once more in an eastern European nation as Tim Clancy’s team held a clean sheet in Slovenia to force penalties.
This time, they improved upon that performance as Serge Atakayi’s 87th-minute winner set off raucous celebrations among his players and the coaching staff.
Thursday’s game at Richmond Park has Clancy hoping for more openings for his team to try and take advantage of in transition, but the 38-year-old will also be mindful that his team’s upcoming opponents will give them everything they’ve got.
It is fair to say that a home loss to St Patrick’s was not in the cards for the Bulgarian runners-up after crushing Makedonija Gjorce Petrov and Beroe Stara Zagora by four goals each the week prior. CSKA Sofia tried extremely hard to keep the score tied, as evidenced by the visitors’ five yellow cards, but they were unable to overcome their tenacious opponents.
At the very least, Sasa Ilic would have wanted his team to avoid conceding at the Bulgarian Army Stadium, but Atakayi’s sucker-punch was exactly what they did.
They have a massive task ahead of them to turn things around on Thursday in Ireland, but Ilic will tell his more gifted players that a goal early in the game can dramatically alter the outcome of the match.
On Thursday, we anticipate a close game at Richmond Park, as the visitors are eager to make up for their unexpected loss in Bulgaria last week.
In this competition, St. Patrick’s could face another penalty shootout, with the home crowd perhaps helping them advance to the next round.