Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Antwerp and Omonia take on each other in a highly-anticipated Europa League qualifier at Bosuilstadion. The Cypriotes did well to win the first leg 4-2, meaning that the Jupiler League outfit need a big win in the return leg if they are to advance to the Europa League group stages. Considering that Antwerp were not in action in the national championship at the weekend, tired legs are unlikely to prove to be a big problem for the hosts.
Both Koji Miyoshi and Radja Nainggolan should be recalled to the starting XI. Omonia, on the other hand, are not regarded as good travelers, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on Brian Priske’s troops. You should bear in mind that Antwerp scored exactly three goals in each of their previous two home games in the Europa League.
Highlighted Player (Lior Refaelov):
Lior Refaelov is an Israeli footballer playing as an attacking midfielder for the Belgium giants with whom he has been a mainstay since his arrival in 2011. Rafaelov began his career at Maccabi Haifa where he played 161 league appearances and scored 30 goals before moving to Belgium.
The experienced 30-year-old Israel international has made his senior debut for his country in 2007 and has since earned over 30 caps for Israel. Lior Rafaelov is a player of vast international experience despite the fact Club Brugge are his first and so far only club in Europe.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder is a major force upfront who has scored six times during Brugge’s Europa League campaign in 2014-15, while he also scored the winner in the Belgian Cup final to earn his club a first trophy in eight years. Last season Rafaleov repeated the feat, having scored in the 2016 Belgian Cup Final, but it wasn’t enough for Club Brugge to avoid getting defeated 2-1 to Standard Liege.
Highlighted Team (Omonia):
Founded on June 4, 1948, Omonia are considered one of the most famous clubs in the history of Cyprus football. The Queen welcome their opponents at GSP Stadium in Nicosia. The venue was opened in 1999 and it can hold up to 22,859 spectators.
However, the stadium’s record attendance is 23,043. Omonoia are the second most successful club in Omonia, with the team winning 20 domestic championships, eight less than APOEL. On the other hand, the club clinched their 14th Cypriot Cup title in the 2011/12 season. The Cypriot outfit made their debut in the Champions League (European Cup) in the 1966/67 season, with the team suffering a heavy 10-1 loss (on agg.) to Bundesliga side 1860 Munich.
Omonia are well known for their light green home shirts, with the team wearing red when playing on the travels. The 1970s are considered the club’s golden era. Led by talented footballer Sotiris Kaiafas, Omonia won seven league titles in that decade.