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    Expert Evaluates Legia’s Prospects Against Molde as Polish Club Vies for Conference League Advancement

    Legia Warszawa players face the Norwegian Molde in the matches for promotion to the 1/8 finals of the Conference League. The chances of the Legionnaires in these meetings were evaluated by a former player of the capital club – Marek Saganowski.

    In the autumn, coach Kosta Runjaic’s team, facing Aston Villa, AZ Alkmaar, and Zrinjski Mostar in the group stage, achieved four victories and suffered two defeats, thus with a tally of 12 points took second place and can continue their European adventure. Meanwhile, Molde was third in Group H of the Europa League. The Norwegian squad secured seven points in clashes with Bayer Leverkusen, Qarabag Agdam, and Haecken Goeteborg.

    Legia will not have an easy time with Molde

    “So far, Legia has been performing excellently in the Conference League. If this were translated into the Polish league, they would be significantly higher in the table. With Molde, they are surely preparing for very physical matches, where tactics will be important. From the Norwegians, we can expect discipline in defense and attack,” assessed Marek Saganowski.

    In 2013, Saganowski played against Molde in the Champions League qualifiers. After draws of 1:1 and 0:0, the capital club advanced to the next round.

    “I remember that those were not easy matches. It was the beginning of building a good brand, which Molde is today. The team was then led by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It was a team well organized in defense and attack. When drawing this opponent, we felt that theoretically, we could have gotten a worse draw. Important is that we made it through, but those were edge-of-the-seat matches,” recalled the former striker.

    Legia’s winter transfers

    In the winter transfer window, Legia sold two significant players – defensive midfielder Bartosz Slisz moved to Atlanta United for 3.2 million euros, and Albanian winger Ernest Muci, who mainly shone in the Conference League, went to Besiktas Istanbul for 10 million euros. In their place, Japanese Ryoya Morishita and Qendrim Zyba from Kosovo were loaned.

    “In the coming months, we will find out if these were weakenings and, possibly, how significant. Slisz was the heart of the team, but there are no irreplaceable players. In the match against Ruch Chorzów, he was replaced by Rafał Augustyniak, who I consider a typical number six,” said Saganowski.

    Muci is a creative player who showed himself very well in Europe. However, I don’t blame Legia because they sold him for huge money. Such an offer might not have come again. Holding onto a player forcibly or risking something happening to him would be senseless. Legia plays in European cups precisely to promote and sell such players as Muci for big money.

    The Molde – Legia match is on Thursday at 18:45.

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