Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Basel will be looking to defend their slim lead in the tie against Apollon when the two teams face each other at Neo GSP in the Europa League play-off, return leg. The RotBlau came from behind to beat the Cypriotes in Switzerland, but the will have a much bigger fish to fry in the return leg in Nicosia. Apollon have been impressive at home ground in the Europa League qualifiers, with the team rolling over the likes of Zeljeznicar and Dinamo Brest, but beating Basel is easier said than done. A close encounter is on horizon and, taking everything into account, we predict the two teams are going to share the spoils at Neo GSP in the return leg. A man to watch in the away side will be Ricky van Wolfswinkel, whilst Basel defenders should have Anton Maglica at bay.
Highlighted Player (André Schembri):
Andre Schembri is a Malta international who was born in Floriana on May 27, 1986. Schembri started his youth career at his hometown club Floriana, but he played for fellow Maltese side Hibernians at the start of his senior career. The experienced attacker scored ten goals in 44 appearances for the club before joining Marsaxlokk in 2005. After spending four seasons at the club he moved to Austria Karnten in 2009 and it has to be noted that he played on loan for the likes of Eintracht Braunschweig and Calr Zeiss Jena during his spell with Marsaxlokk.
Andre Schembri did not spend too much time in Austria as he moved to Hungary in the winter of 2010, signing a deal with Ferencvaros. The Maltese striker played for the likes of Panionios, Omonia, FSV Frankfurt, Omonia and Boavista before joining Apollon Limassol in June 2017. Andre Schembri signed a two-year deal with the Cypriot side and he quickly started paying off.
You should bear in mind that the Malta international scored four goals in the 2017/2018 Europa League qualifiers and, no doubt, he helped the Cypriot side book their place in the group stages of the European competition.
Highlighted Team (Basel):
One of the most successful football clubs in Switzerland, FC Basel were founded in 1893. The RotBlau as they are referred to by the Swiss play their games at the St. Jacob Park in Basel in front of 37,500 people which is the maximum capacity of the venue.
The 19-time Swiss champions have endured difficult times in 1980s which ultimately led to relegation from the top flight in 1987. FC Basel returned to the top tier of Swiss football in 2000s to win their first league title in 22 years and go on to win it nine more times over 13 seasons since 2002. The golden times for FC Basel brought European inclusion in every season since 1999-2000 with a pinnacle being the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2012-13.
The RotBlau have so far played over 95 UEFA Champions League games, winning almost half of their European outings. The Swiss club has produced plenty of talented players who went on to become prominent footballers all across Europe with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka being the most outstanding members of the latest generation.