Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Gjilani will be looking to build on a 3-1 win over Tre Penne when they take on APOEL in the Europa League first qualifying round. The Falcons have been producing fine displays on their debut in the Europa League, but they will have a big fish to fry in Thursday’s football match. APOEL have already kicked off the new domestic campaign, and it is no surprise they are seen as favourites to win the round 1 clash.
Greece tactician Marinos Ouzounidis has a number of high-profile foreign players to choose from, and we predict that the Cypriot outfit are going to prove their worth on the field. Summer signing Viktor Klonaridis is widely expected to make his APOEL debut in the Europa League against Gjilani. Considering that the game will be played behind closed doors, we are positive that Marinos Ouzounidis’ men are going to advance to the second qualifying round.
Highlighted Player (Vid Belec):
Vid Belec is a 192-cm-tall goalkeeper, who was born in Maribor, Slovenia on June 6, 1990. Belec played for his home-town club Maribor at youth level and in 2007 he joined Italian side Internazionale.
However, the Slovenian shot-stopper did not see any game action in the Serie A during his spell at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and it has to be noted that he played for the likes of Crotone, Olhanense and Konyaspor on loan before joining Carpi in 2015. After making 56 appearances for the Biancorossi in the league, Vid Belec moved to Benevento in July, 2017, signing a three-year deal with the Serie A team.
Belec made his debut for Slovenia national football team on June 7, 2014 in a 2-0 loss to Argentina. The Slovenian goalkeeper managed to keep 13 clean sheets for Benevento in the 2016/2017 Serie B campaign and, no doubt, he helped the club secure promotion to the Italian top flight.
Highlighted Team (APOEL):
APOEL are a Cypriot football club based in Nicosia. The Thrylos were founded on 8 November, 1926 and they won their first league trophy in 1932, defeating AEL Limassol 4-0 in the final. Over the years APOEL have established themselves as one of the best teams in Cyprus and they won their 25th domestic trophy in 2016.
The Thrylos participated in the 2014/2015 Champions League group stages, but they failed to make life difficult for the likes of PSG, Ajax and Barcelona, picking up no more than one point from possible 18. APOEL share a great rivalry with Omonia and the meeting between two teams is well known as the Nicosia derby.
A number of foreign footballers played for APOEL and it has to be noted that the likes of Daniel Florea, Dudu Biton, Marcos Tavares, Paul Okon, Dragisa Binic, Nenad Milosavljevic, Paulo Costa, Tiago Gomes, Alexandros Tziolis and Fernando Cavenaghi were all part of the team in the past. The colour of APOEL’s home kits is yellow.