Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Neo GSP will host Thursday’s football match between AEK Larnaca and Zurich. AEK Larnaca have been impressive in the Europa League qualifiers this season and seeing that they rolled over the likes of Dundalk, Sturm Graz and Trencin in previous three home games in the European competition, we predict that they are going to make life difficult for Zurich. The Swiss side, on the other hand, return to the group stages of the Europa League after a two-year absence and, they must be highly motivated to prove their worth in their opener. However, seeing that AEK Larnaca have turned their Neo GSP into a real fortress, we predict that the two teams are going to share the spoils in Thursday’s clash. You should bear in mind that AEK Larnaca and Zurich meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Nacho Cases):
After making 71 appearances for Sporting B between 2005 and 2011, Nacho Cases started playing for the first team on 9 January 2011, making his debut in a 1-1 draw with Racing Santander. The Spanish footballer plays as a midfielder and he was born on 22 December, 1987 in Gijon.
He played probably the best match of his career against Real Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 2 April, 2011 as he provided an assist for Miguel de las Cuevas, who scored the winner ten minutes before the end (1-0). Nacho Cases used to play for the like of Codema and Revillagigedo during his youth career, but he played for his current club as a boy as well.
Cases was with his family in Paris during terror attacks in November 2011 and the Spanish embassy helped him return to his homeland. The midfielder scored one goal in 24 league appearances for Sporting Gijon in the 2015/2016 La Liga campaign.
Highlighted Team (FC Zurich):
Zurich were founded in 1896 and six years later they won their first Swiss Super League title. In the 2008/2009 season der Stadtclub the club won their 12th domestic trophy and, as a result, they are regarded as one of the biggest clubs in Switzerland. Zurich made it to the Champions League (European Cup) on two occasions.
The Swiss outfit faced Real Madrid in the semis of the elite competition in the 1963/1964 season, but Spanish giants Real Madrid proved to be a big catch for them. In the 1967/1977 season Zurich were beaten by Liverpool in the European Cup semis, with the Swiss team losing both legs. Der Stadtclub play their home games at Letzigrund and the capacity of the stadium is 25 000.
It has to be noted that the likes of Shabani Nonda, Josip Drmic, Rosario Martinelli, Ike Shorunmu, Daniel Gygax, Blerim Dzemaili, Jurica Jerkovic, Iulian Filipescu played for the club in the past. Zurich’s home colours are white and blue.