Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
KA Akureyri and Club Brugge face each other in yet another David-vs-Goliath clash in the Conference League qualifiers. Club Brugge hammered Akureyri 5-1 at Jan Breydel Stadion in the first leg and, as a result, the Belgian powerhouse are with one foot in the final qualifying round. Regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, away win should be considered once again as the Blauw-Zwart produced a brilliant display in a 5-0 crushing of Eupen at the weekend.
Keep in mind, though, that all Boyata, Jutgla, Meijer, Odoi, Rits, and Sowah have been struggling with injuries of late. The Icelanders, on the other hand, face an uphill task in the reverse fixture as they need to overcome a four-goal deficit, but given their five-game winless run in all competitions, we are tempted to put our money on Ronny Deila’s troops once again.
Highlighted Player (Simon Mignolet):
Simon Luc Hildebert Mignolet is a Belgium goalkeeper born on 6 March 1988 in Sint-Truiden. He began his career in a club from his hometown, making 100 league appearances for Sint-Truidense before moving to Sunderland in 2010.
Mignolet would go on to spent next four years at the Stadium of Light, making 90 Premier League appearances. As one of world’s most talented goalkeepers, the Belgium international signed for Liverpool in the summer of 2013, and he has since been the club’s first choice goalkeeper. Performing admirably most of the time, but also committing cheap mistakes at times, Mignolet has yet to win over the Liverpool fans, but remains highly regarded in his native country.
The talented shot-stopper has been a member of the Belgium national team since 2011, earning over 20 caps for the Red Devils, but he has been playing second fiddle to Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois over the last few years.
Highlighted Team (Club Brugge):
Founded in 1891, Belgium giants Club Brugge are one of the most decorated football clubs in the country. Also known as Blauw-Zwart due to their Blue and Black colours, Club Brugge have been crown champions of Belgium on 14 occasions which is second to Anderlecht.
Through their long-lasting history Club Brugge have enjoyed fair amount of European success.to this day in football history Club Brugge holds the European record number of consecutive participation in the UEFA Europa league – 20. The Blauw-Zwart have reached two European finals and two semi-finals so far. What is more, Club Brugge are the only Belgian side ever to play in the final of the European Cup so far, losing to Liverpool in the 1978 season.
Two years prior, Club Brugge lost the 1976 UEFA Cup Final to the same rivals. Club Brugge play their home games at the Jan Breydel Stadium, which is also home to city rivals Cercle Brugge. The two sides form a formidable rivalry contested in the Bruges Derby.