Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Ghelamco Arena will be the center of attention when Gent and APOEL face each other in the Conference League playoffs, first leg. Gent have been having their ups and downs of late, but given their attacking potential, home win should definitely be considered. All Castro-Montes, and Depoitre, and Fortuna are likely to miss the game with injuries, while Jordan Torunarigha is pushing for a start after scoring as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with St Truiden at the weekend.
The Cypriotes, on the other hand, are on a five-game winning run in all competitions, but Gent will pose a much bigger threat for the visiting side than their previous rivals. Even though there are no fresh injury concerns in the visiting team ahead of the trip to Belgium, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts this time out.
Highlighted Player (Sven Kums):
Belgian defender Sven Kums began his youth career at Dilbeek Sport and in 1996 he joined Anderlecht. Despite spending seven years at the club, he did not see any game action with the Belgian giants at senior level. After ending his loan spells with the likes of Lierse and Kortrijk, he signed a permanent deal with de Kerels in 2008.
The 176-cm-tall midfielder, who was born on 26 February, 1988, scored 12 goals in 116 league appearances for Kortrijk and in 2011 he moved to Netherlands, signing a contract with Heerenveen. In 2013 he returned to Belgium, joining Zulte Waregem.
In the summer of 2014 he moved to fellow Belgian outfit Gent and at the end of the 2015/2016 season he signed a loan deal with Udinese. Kums has 12 caps for Belgium U21 and it has to be noted that his father Ludo Kums is working as a coach at Anderlecht. Sven Kums is a centre midfielder, but he plays as both attacking midfielder and defensive midfielder as well.
Highlighted Team (APOEL):
APOEL are a Cypriot football club based in Nicosia. The Thrylos were founded on 8 November, 1926 and they won their first league trophy in 1932, defeating AEL Limassol 4-0 in the final. Over the years APOEL have established themselves as one of the best teams in Cyprus and they won their 25th domestic trophy in 2016.
The Thrylos participated in the 2014/2015 Champions League group stages, but they failed to make life difficult for the likes of PSG, Ajax and Barcelona, picking up no more than one point from possible 18. APOEL share a great rivalry with Omonia and the meeting between two teams is well known as the Nicosia derby.
A number of foreign footballers played for APOEL and it has to be noted that the likes of Daniel Florea, Dudu Biton, Marcos Tavares, Paul Okon, Dragisa Binic, Nenad Milosavljevic, Paulo Costa, Tiago Gomes, Alexandros Tziolis and Fernando Cavenaghi were all part of the team in the past. The colour of APOEL’s home kits is yellow.