Partizan coach Vermezovic not taking Valletta lightly
Partizan coach Vladimir Vermezovic said there is no chance his team will underestimate Valletta ahead of today’s Champions League second qualifying round clash in Malta.
Vermezovic is back in charge at the Belgrade giants after being named as a replacement for Avraam Grant who quit the renowned club after leading the team to their 24th championship in May.
Vermezovic,48, was quoted as saying in the Serbia media that he was pleased with how his team’s pre-season preparations have panned out so far and he is now looking forward to steer Partizan into the next round of the European competition.
“I’m very satisfied with our pre-season programme,” Vermezovic, in his second spell at Partizan after a short stint in season 2004-05, told reporters.
“We have already played a series of friendlies and now I have a clear idea of the potential inside my squad.”
In the off-season, Partizan travelled to Slovenia for a training camp and played seven warm-up matches, winning five, drawing one and conceding the only defeat to Lokomotiv Moscow (2-0) last Tuesday.
“At the moment, the Valletta tie is the most important for us,” Vermezovic said.
“If we win it, we are assured of playing four more European games. I have faith in my squad and from what I’ve seen in pre-season we have enough quality to go through.
“But everyone can play football these days and if we are not 100 per cent motivated we’ll have problems.
“It’s up to us to show that we are the strongest team against Valletta.”
Second qualifying round, first legs
F91 Dudelange (LUX) vs Salzburg (AUT)
Valletta (MLT) vs Partizan Belgrade (SRB)
Ulisses (ARM) vs Sheriff (MDA)
Flora Tallinn (EST) vs FC Basel (SUI)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) vs KR Reykjavik (ISL)
Neftci PFK (AZE) vs Zestafoni (GEO)
Slovan Liberec (CZE) vs S. Karagandy (KAZ)
MSK Zilina (SVK) vs H. Kiryat Shmona (ISR)
The New Saints (WAL) vs Helsingborgs (SWE)
KS Skenderbeu (ALB) vs Debreceni (HUN)
Shamrock Rovers (IRL) vs FK Ekranas (LTU)
NK Maribor (SVN) vs FK Zeljeznicar (BIH)
BATE Borisov (BLR) vs FK Vardar (MKD)
AEL Limassol (CYP) vs Linfield (NIR)
Molde FK (NOR) vs FK Ventspils (LVA)
L. Razgrad (BUL) vs Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Buducnost (MNE) vs Slask Wroclaw (POL)
Second legs: July 24 and 25.