Our prediction for this Europa League match:
APOEL and Qarabag meet for the fourth time this season. When the two teams faced each other in the Champions League qualifiers, APOEL eliminated Qarabag in the third round qualifying round, but the two sides shared the spoils in the Europa League two weeks ago. APOEL and Qarabag played out a 2-2 draw in Baku, and yet another close encounter is on the horizon.
A place in the Europa League knockout stages will be at stake when the two teams take on each other at Neo GSP, and we are positive that both sides will adopt a cautious approach in Thursday’s football match. Since a low-scoring affair is on the cards this time out, we believe that there is a big value in betting on under 2.5 goals. Swedish attacker Linus Hallenius will be the man to watch in the home team, while APOEL defenders should have Spanish winger Dani Quintana at bay.
Highlighted Player (Vid Belec):
Vid Belec is a 192-cm-tall goalkeeper, who was born in Maribor, Slovenia on June 6, 1990. Belec played for his home-town club Maribor at youth level and in 2007 he joined Italian side Internazionale.
However, the Slovenian shot-stopper did not see any game action in the Serie A during his spell at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and it has to be noted that he played for the likes of Crotone, Olhanense and Konyaspor on loan before joining Carpi in 2015. After making 56 appearances for the Biancorossi in the league, Vid Belec moved to Benevento in July, 2017, signing a three-year deal with the Serie A team.
Belec made his debut for Slovenia national football team on June 7, 2014 in a 2-0 loss to Argentina. The Slovenian goalkeeper managed to keep 13 clean sheets for Benevento in the 2016/2017 Serie B campaign and, no doubt, he helped the club secure promotion to the Italian top flight.
Highlighted Team (Qarabag):
Over the years Qarabag have established themselves as one of the best teams in Azerbaijan. The club was founded in 1951 and they were playing under the name of Mehsul back then. Qarabag won their first trophy in the national championship in 1993, beating Khazar Sumgayit in the title game.
In the 2015/2016 season they won their fourth domestic trophy, with the team finishing the season 22 points clear of second-placed Zira. Qarabag participated in the 2016/2017 Champions League qualifiers, but they were more than unfortunate to suffer a loss to Viktoria Plzen in the two-legged tie. The Azerbaijan outfit were beaten by the Czechs on away goal rule and, as a result, they made it to the Europa League playoffs.
Thanks to a win over Goteborg in the double-header Qarabag made it to the knockout stages of the competition. The Horsemen play their home games at Azersun Arena and their home colours are black. Qarabag play their away games in white kits.