Our prediction for this Europa League match:
AEK Arena – George Karapatakis will host Thursday’s football game between AEK Larnaca and Levski Sofia. The Cypriotes did well to beat Petrocub in the Europa League first qualifying round, with the team keeping a clean sheet in each of the two legs. The hosts are likely to rely on their rock-solid defence in the clash against Levski Sofia, but beating the Bulgarian outfit is easier said than done.
A man to watch in the home team will be former Sporting Gijon midfielder Nacho Cases. Levski Sofia have already kicked off the new domestic campaign, with the team rolling over Dunav 4-1 in their opener. To make things even better for the fans, the Bulgarian club outplayed Ruzomberok in the Europa League first qualifying round, but seeing that AEK Larnaca are tough to beat at home, we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw.
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 (AEK Larnaca):
AEK Larnaca are a Cypriot side that compete in the Cypriot 1. Division. AEK Larnaca were founded in July, 1994 and they have yet to win the national championship. However, they did well to win the domestic cup on two occasions (2003/2004, 2017/2018), with the team beating the likes of AEL and Apollon Limassol respectively in the title game.
The Guardians wear white shirts with a little yellow and green on it and white shorts when playing at home, while their away colours are gray and black. AEK Larnaca will compete in the Europa League in the 2018/2019 season, with the team facing the likes of Zurich, Bayer Leverkusen and Ludogorets in Group A.
The Cypriotes booked their place in the group stages of the competition by beating Trencin in the two-legged tie. AEK Larnaca welcome their rivals at AEK Arena – Georgios Karapatakis Larnaca, the stadium which can hold up to 7,400 spectators. AEK Larnaca play their home games on natural grass.