Opposition View - NK Domzale

Thursday’s UEFA Europa League qualifier against NK Domzale in Ljubljana promises not only to be a huge occasion for the Slovenian club, but also for the nation's football as a whole.
Domzale finished third in their domestic league last season and possess experience of facing teams from the likes of Germany and Croatia in European competition, but according to journalist Joze Okorn from the national daily newspaper Dnevnik, this match sits on another level.
The Slovenian side have seen off Andorran side Lusitans and Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus to earn the right to face the Hammers and they will be giving their all to try and cause a shock.
Okorn explained: “This is the biggest match for the Domzale club. They have been in UEFA Champions League qualification before and twice played Dinamo Zagreb.
“The champions Olimpija Ljubljana went out in the second round of Champions League qualifiers this year, so this is one of the biggest matches in Slovenian club football this season.
“English football is so popular in Slovenia – it’s the top level of football for us, so it is a really big game.
“The match is even more interesting because of Slaven Bilic, and him being from Croatia.
“He is a good coach, and a good player for the national team beforehand. It is a very interesting match for the Slovenian people and the Croatian people – some of them will be coming over because it is not very far from Zagreb or Rijeka.”
Domzale’s domestic season has already begun, with a win over Radomlje and a draw with Krsko leaving them third in the embryonic league table.
However, Okorn says the Hammers should expect to face a very different side to that which lined-up for that 1-1 draw in Krsko.
He added: “Domzale have been playing their second team in first two league games, in which they have won one and drawn one so far. Only two players played the last game in Krsko, who started the last match in the Europa League.
“Just Balkovec on the left hand side and Alvir in the middle started both – the other nine players were from the second team.
“The players to look out for on Domzale are the French midfielder Benjamin Morel, who has come back to the club after going to Bulgaria last season, and the left winger Matic Crnic, who plays for the Slovenian national team.”