Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Hapoel Be’er Sheva and APOEL square off against each other at Yaakov Turner Toto Stadium in the first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round. Hapoel failed to impress in the Champions League qualifiers, with the team suffering a heavy 5-0 loss to the Croatian champions at Stadion Maksimir. The Israeli side aim to bounce back from the embarrassing defeat and seeing that APOEL have been struggling on the travels in European competitions this term, we predict that the hosts are going to grab something from Thursday’s clash. The Cypriotes were first defeated by Suduva in Lithuania in the Champions League qualifiers and they head into the game against Hapoel following a 2-0 loss to Flora in Tallinn. A man to watch in the home team will be Nigeria attacker Anthony Nwakaeme.
Highlighted Player (Isaac Cuenca):
Isaac Cuenca is a product of Barcelona football academy “La Masia”. Cuenca scored two goals in two appearances for Barcelona B and he made his official debut for the first team on October 25, 2011 in a 1-0 win over Granada. However, after failing to establish himself as a first-team regular at Barca, the pacey winger signed a loan deal with Ajax in 2013, but he made no more than three appearances in Eredivisie for the Dutch club.
After ending his loan spell with the Amsterdammers, Isaac Cuenca returned to Spain and signed a one-year deal with Deportivo La Coruna. The 179-cm tall footballer, who was born in Reus, Spain, on April 27, 1991 left the Galician side at the end of the 2014/2015 season and he played for the likes of Bursaspor and Granada before joining Israeli outfit Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
Issac Cuenca has two caps for Spain U21 team, but he has yet to make his senior debut with La Roja.
Highlighted Team (APOEL Nicosia):
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.