Our football match prediction:
Thursday’s football game at Stadion Olimp 2 pits together Rostov and Sparta Prague. Rostov did well to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stages, but they eventually failed to advance to the last 16 of the elite competition. The Selmashi, though, played out a goalless draw with PSV in their last group game and, as a result, they made it to the knockout stages of the Europa League. Rostov take on Sparta Prague in the last 32 and it remains to be seen if they are capable of scoring their first ever goal in the competition. Sparta Prague recorded four wins, while suffering two defeats in Group K and, as a result, they set up a meeting with Rostov in the Europa League knockout stages. The Czechs impressed in the group stages, but they will have to be at their sharpest in Thursday’s football game against Rostov if they are to emerge triumphant in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Moussa Doumbia):
A Malian midfielder Moussa Doumbia has been with Russian side FK Rostov since 2014. The 22-year-old powerful midfielder started his career with Real Bamako in 2012. Doumbia spent two years playing for the Scorpions in the Malien Premiere Division, the top rank in the country. Russian side recognised his talent and made a transfer in 2014 tying Moussa Doumbia on a four-year deal. During two seasons with Russian Premier League outfit, Doumbia was involved in 31 league matches. In 2015-16 season he contributed to his club’s runners-up finish with two goals of his own. Full-time Mali international made his national team debut in 2014 in a 3-1 victory over China in Shenzen. His most recent international appearances occurred in September during an empathic 5-2 win over Benin in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Doumbia went on to score his team’s fifth goal with eleven minutes on the clock rounding off an impressive performance.
Highlighted Team (Sparta Prague):
Established in 1893, Sparta Prague is one of Europe’s oldest clubs and the most successful side in Czech Republic, having won no fewer than 36 league titles and 27 Czech Cup trophies. The club play their games at the Generali Arena in Prague and hold a long-lasting rivalry with Slavia Prague. Sparta Prague enjoyed their Golden Years in the 1960’s, when average attendance was nearly 40,000 and players like Jiri Tichy, Andrej Kvasnak and Vaclav Masek entertained the crowds week in week out. Rudi largely impressed in the maiden Champions League campaign during the 1991/92 season as they finished second in the semi-final group, meaning they were among top 4 European sides at the moment. Nevertheless, Sparta Prague have enjoyed little to no success on the European stage since, reaching the Champions League knockout stages on just one occasion, with their latest major coup the return of prodigal son Tomas Rosicky from Arsenal.