Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Astana will be looking to defend their three-goal lead in the Europa League tie against BATE when the two teams face each other at Borisov Arena in the return leg of the play-offs. The Kazakhs proved their worth in the first leg and thanks to the 3-0 win over Alexey Baga’s troops they moved one step closer to booking their place in the group stages of the Europa League.
BATE face an uphill task in Thursday’s football match as they need to record a big win over Astana, but they have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at the Kazakhs. Roman Grigorchuk’s troops have been scoring goals for fun in the national championship of late and should they happen to find the net in the return leg, they will almost certainly secured their place in the group stages of the European competition. Seeing that BATE are likely to adopt an attack-minded approach in the return leg, both teams to score bet should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Egor Filipenko):
Egor Filipenko is a Maccabi Tel Aviv defender who was born in Minsk, Belarus on 10 April, 1988. He began his senior career at BATE Borisov, but his main goal was to join Russian Premier League. His wish came true in 2008 as he signed a contract with Russian giants Spartak Moscow.
After playing 16 league games for the capital club, he returned to BATE Borisov in 2011 on loan and he eventually signed a permanent deal with the Belarusian outfit. On 5 January, 2015 Filipenko joined la Liga side Malaga on a two-and-a-half-year deal, but he made no more than eight league appearances with los Boquerones. In the summer of 2016 the Belarusian footballer moved to Israel, signing a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Speaking of his international career, Egor Filipenko made his Belarus debut on 12 September, 2007, coming as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Slovenia in the Euro 2008 qualifier. His contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (FC Astana):
Astana are a professional football club based in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Blue and Yellows were founded in 2009 and five years later they won their first Kazakhstan Premier League trophy. Astana managed to defend their title in 2015, with the team finishing the season just one point clear of Kairat in the standings.
The Kazakhs participated in the Champions League group stages in the 2015/2016 season, but they failed to record a win in the elite competition. However, it has to be noted that they managed to hold star-studded Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in front of home fans. Astana play their home games at Astana Arena and the capacity of the venue is 30 244.
The stadium was opened on 3 July, 2009 and the construction cost $185 million. Astana’s home kits are yellow with blue strips and they play their away games in navy-blue kits. The team recorded their biggest win on 19 June, 2011 when they outclassed Kairat 6-1 in the Kazakhstan Premier League.