The opening leg of Malmo’s match against Vikingur Reykjavk in the first round of qualifying for the 2022–23 Champions League will take place on Tuesday night.
While the visitors had to make their way past FCI Levadia and Inter Club d’Escaldes to reach the first round, the Swedish champions are already in full domestic swing.
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Malmo vs Vikingur Reykjavík Tips and Prediction
Malmo will want to achieve a confidence-boosting victory in Europe despite a difficult period in their own country as they attempt to defend their 2021 Allsvenskan title.
The defending champions were dismayed by a 2-1 loss to GIF Sundsvall on Friday night, which dropped Milos Milojevic’s team to fifth place in the nascent top-flight standings after collecting 21 points from the 39 available.
Malmo’s loss to Sundsvall snapped a three-game sequence of victories in competitive matches across all competitions, although they’ve never been bounced from the first round of Champions League Qualifying and advanced all the way to the group stage before an early exit.
The 22-time national champions, who have already scored in all of their home games this season, welcome Vikingur to the Eleda Stadion, but the guests have already had a taste of European football and left their Estonian opponents with no quarter.
The Icelandic powerhouses had to go through the preliminary round, which started with a 6-1 thrashing of Levadia before facing fellow semi-final winners Inter Club d’Escaldes. This is the first time in the history of the Icelandic powerhouses that they have competed in Champions League Qualifying.
As Kristall Mani Ingason rippled the net with 68 minutes remaining to send his side through, Arnar Gunnlaugsson’s team only needed one goal to advance in front of a 925-person crowd. The victories have been coming for the visitors on a weekly basis.
Vikingur won their sixth overall championship after becoming Icelandic champions for the first time in 30 years in 2021, however they are already nine points behind Breidablik in the 2022 standings.
However, the current champions enter the first leg having won all eight of their recent games in all competitions, seven of which were away from home, and they have also recorded a clean sheet in each of their past three games.
If Gunnlaugsson is unable to motivate his team to a memorable victory against Malmo, Vikingur will likely have to compete in the Europa Conference League qualifying rounds. Vikingur advanced to the first round of the 1992–93 Champions League before losing to CSKA Moscow.
Vikingur has done everything in their power to prepare for this game by posting victory after victory, but on their home field, Malmo’s larger European heritage will undoubtedly shine through.
The injuries and illnesses have taken a toll on Milojevic’s team, but the Swedish champions still anticipate moving through to the second round.