Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Buoyed by a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sevilla, Standard take on Akhisarspor at Spor Toto Akhisar Belediye Stadi in their last group game. The Turkish side have yet to pick up a point in the 2018/2019 Europa League campaign, whereas the Belgians face a must-win situation in the decider. Standard Liege want this win more than Akhisarspor and we predict that they are going to prove their worth on the field. The Red Devils are determined to book their place in the Europa League knockout stages and seeing that the hosts head into Thursday’s football match with the lack of confidence, away win should be considered. When the two teams met in Liege earlier in the process Standard defeated Akhisarspor 2-1, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the Belgian team this time out.
Highlighted Player (Josue):
Born in Ermesinde, Portugal on September 17, 1990, Josué Filipe Soares Pesqueira is a 174-cm tall midfielder, who plays for Turkish side Akhisar Belediyespor. Josue is a product of FC Porto football school, but he played for the likes of Padroense and Candal during his youth career as well. After ending his loan spells with the likes of Covilha, Penafiel and VVV, Josue signed a contract with Pacos Ferreira in the 2011/2012 season.
The Portuguese footballer played 42 games for Pacos Ferreira before returning to Porto in the 2013/2014 season. In the summer of 2016 Josue joined Galatasaray on loan and after scoring two goals in 25 appearances for the capital club, he moved to fellow Turkish side Osmanlispor in the 2017/2018 season.
Josue currently plays for Akhisar Belediyespor, the Turkish club that booked their place in the 2018/2019 Europa League group stages thanks to a win over Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup final. His main position is attacking midfielder, but he is used as a winger as well.
Highlighted Team (St Liege):
Standard are a Belgian football club based in Liege. The club was founded back in 1898 and 11 years later they joined Belgian First League. Les Rouches (the Reds) immediately dropped to the lower leagues, but in 1921 they returned to the Belgian top flight. Standard won their first Belgian League trophy in 1958, but you should have in mind that they were level on points with second-placed Royal Antwerp.
In 2009 the Reds clinched their tenth domestic title, beating Anderlecht in the title game. Talented midfielder Axel Witsel scored the winner for Standard in the 1-0 triumph over their bitter rivals. Standard play their home games at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, the venue that was opened in 1909. The capacity of the stadium is 30 023.
Maurice Dufrasne was the club’s chairman from 1909 until 1931. Speaking of the club’s European success, Standard participated in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1982, losing to La Liga giants Barcelona in the title game.