Our football match prediction:
Crvena Zvezda welcome BATE Borisov at their Stadion Rajko Mitic in the opening game of their Europa League campaign. The Serbian side return to the group stages of the competition after a 12-year absence and, no doubt, they are going to leave their hearts on the field in Thursday’s football match. Crvena Zvezda chiefs did well to keep hold of key players Boakye, Kanga and Donald in the summer transfer window and it is no surprise the Crveno-beli are seen as hot favourites to win their opener. Fans are likely to pack the stadium and we do not believe that BATE Borisov are capable of spoiling Crvena Zvezda’s party at Stadion Rajko Mitic. The Belarusian outfit eliminated Oleksandria of Ukraine in the play-offs, but Vladan Milojevic’s men are likely to pose a much bigger threat for the visitors than their previous rivals. Aforementioned midfielder Guelor Kanga, who scored a wonder goal in a 2-1 win over Krasnodar, will be the man to watch in the home team.
Highlighted Player (Guélor Kanga):
Over the years Guelor Kanga has established himself as one of the best players in the Serbian Super League. The Gabon international has been playing the key role in Crvena Zvezda ever since he joined the club in the summer of 2016 and he helped the Serbian side book their place in the 2017/2018 Europa League group stages. Kanga scored a wonder goal in the Europa League play-offs, return leg, against Krasnodar and, as a result, he has become the fans’ favourite. The pacey midfielder started his senior career at Mangasport and he played for the likes of Missile, Mounana and Rostov as well before joining Crvena Zvezda. Kanga is well known for his brilliant passes and his technique is marvelous as well. The Crvena Zvezda midfielder represented Gabon at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and he played for his homeland at the 2017 tournament as well. His main position is attacking midfield, but he is used as a winger as well.
Highlighted Team (BATE Borisov):
BATE Borisov are a Belarusian club based in Borisov. BATE is an acronym of Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics and it has to be noted that club was founded in 1973. One year later BATE Borisov wan Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic title and they won two more trophies in the competition (1976, 1979) before being disbanded in 1984. In 1996 the club was re-established and they have been dominating the Belarusian Premier League ever since. The Belarusian giants won their 13th domestic trophy in the post-Soviet era in 2016, with the team finishing the season 11 points clear of second-placed Shakhtyor Soligorsk. BATE Borisov qualified for the Champions League group stages for the first time in the 2008/2009 season, but they failed to make it to the knockout stages of the elite competition. A number of top-class footballers played for the club in the past and the likes of Alexander Hleb, Vitali Kutuzov and Yuri Zhevnon should be mentioned. BATE play their home games in blue shirts and blue shorts, while they wear yellow when playing on the road.