Maribor in focus

31 October 2017 11:59

Maribor head to Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday a fortnight after being losing 7-0 to Liverpool in Slovenia.

Here we take a closer look at the visitors.

Form

The crushing defeat last time out in the Champions League does not appear to have dented confidence too much. Maribor have won both league matches since, winning 1-0 against both Ankaran Hrvatini and Domzale. That has put them behind PrvaLiga leaders Olimpija Ljubljana, who are coached by former Liverpool midfielder Igor Biscan, on goal difference only. However, they have lost three and drawn two of their last seven European away games.

Record against English teams

Maribor suffered a heavy defeat at Chelsea in 2014
Maribor suffered a heavy defeat at Chelsea in 2014 (Adam Davy/Empics)
Maribor have won only one of their nine previous matches against English teams, beating Wigan 2-1 in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage. They have lost on all four visits to England, with their most recent in 2014/15 ending in a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Who to watch

Leading scorer Jasmin Mesanovic was the match-winner in Maribor’s last two league matches and has netted in the team’s last three PrvaLiga outings. However, he was only an 81st-minute substitute in the first game against Liverpool.

Coach

Maribor coach Darko Milanic is probably the club’s most recognisable name to a British audience, having had a dismal spell at Leeds. Milanic moved to Elland Road in September 2014 but lasted just 32 days. He began his second spell at Maribor – having initially won four league titles from 2008 to 2013 – in March 2016 and won a domestic cup and then the championship again last season. He also managed Sturm Graz between leaving Maribor and joining Leeds. As a player he won the Yugoslavian league with Partizan Belgrade, whom he joined as a 17-year-old, before moving to Sturm where he won two league titles and three Austrian Cups. He also captained Yugoslavia in Euro 2000. His coaching career started with Izola – the club where he began his playing career – before a brief spell at Gorica.

Source: By PA Sport Staff


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