Our match prediction:
Mainz and Saint Etienne take on each other at OPEL ARENA in the Europa League group stages in what is expected to be one of the most interesting matches of Thursday’s program. The Bundesliga outfit head into the game following a thrilling 4-4 draw with Hoffenheim and it has to be noted that die Nullfunfer dropped a three-goal advantage in Sunday’s clash against the fellow Bundesliga team. Mainz are likely to stick to their attacking style of play and they are likely to score in Thursday’s football game against Saint Etienne. Les Verts are on a five-game unbeaten run ahead of the trip to Germany and they did well to share the spoils with Ligue 1 giants PSG at Parc des Princes at the weekend. Taking everything into account, the two teams are likely to play out a high-scoring draw at OPEL ARENA in their Europa League opener.
Highligted Player (Giulio Donati):
Giulio Donati was born in Pietrasanta, the Province of Lucca and he started his career at his home-town club Lucchese. In 2008 Inter scouts spotted him and he joined the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza outfit in July. He played for the Inter U20 team, but he did not make his Inter debut in Serie A. After ending his loan spells with the likes of Lecce, Padova and Grosetto the Italian defender joined Bayer Leverkusen on 21 June, 2013, for a fee of €3 million. He made 23 league appearances for Bayer in the 2013/2014 Bundesliga campaign, but he played just 8 league matches for the club in the 2014/2015 season. Speaking of his international career, Donati played three games for Italy U20 and he has 26 caps for the U21 team. On 25 January, 2016 he signed a contract with Mainz, which expires in 2019. Donati is a right back, but he is capable of playing as a left back and a right midfielder as well.
Highlighted Team (St Etienne):
Saint Etienne are a professional football club that compete in French Ligue 1. Les Verts were founded in 1919 by employees of a grocery store chain based in Saint Etienne. Saint Etienne wear green shirts and white shorts when playing at home ground and they play their home matches at Stade Geofrroy-Guichard. The stadium was opener on 13 September, 1931 and following the renovation the capacity of the venue increased to 42 000. In 1981 les Verts won their tenth Ligue 1 trophy, but they have been in the shadow of Ligue 1 giants Lyon and PSG in the 21st century. Speaking of the club’s European success, Saint Etienne made it to the European Cup (Champions League) final in 1976, but Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich proved to be a big catch for the French outfit. Anyhow, that is regarded as the club’s biggest success. It has to be noted that the likes of Michel Platini, Jacques Santini, Laurent Blanc and Aime Jacquet all played for Saint Etienne in the past.