Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Gent and Saint-Etienne take on each other at GHELAMCO-arena in what is expected to be one of the most exciting games of Thursday’s program in the Europa League round 1. Gent booked their spot in the Europa League group stages thanks to victory over Rijeka in the double-header and they will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they face les Verts.
The Belgians are tough to beat at home, but the game against the Ligue 1 outfit will be anything but a walk in the park for Jess Thorup’s charges. Saint-Etienne, on the other hand, have established themselves as one of the best teams in the French top flight and they are definitely capable of matching Gent in their Europa League opener. A close game is on the horizon at GHELAMCO-arena, therefore, we are tempted to put our money on draw.
Highlighted Player (Mikael Lustig):
Long-serving Celtic soldier Michael Lustig has been with The Bhoys since 2012. The Swedish international has made more than 140 appearances for the Scottish club. The experienced 29-year-old defender is also a full international for Sweden since 2008 and a member of his country’s team that has participated at the 2016 European Championship finals in France.
Internationally experienced defender also took part at Euro 2012 and his vast experience is of crucial importance for Celtic. Lustig began his career at Umea FC and had also played for GIF Sundsvall and Rosenborg BK before his move to Scotland.
Mikael Lusting has endured mixed fortunes throughout his four-year career with Celtic, predominantly due to various injury spells that kept him out of play. First choice for Celtic manager(s) whenever he is fully fit, the Swedish defender is praised for his hard work, stamina and physical ability, despite his most recent struggles with muscle injuries.
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 Geoffroy-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.