Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Stadion U Nisy will host Thursday’s football game between Liberec and APOEL. The Czechs have defeated the likes of Liberec (5-1) and Steaua (2-0) on their way to the Europa League playoffs, and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against APOEL. Bahrain international Abdulla Yusuf, who has been in a fine form at the start of the season, will be one of the men to watch in the home team.
APOEL, on the other hand, defeated Zrinjski on penalties in the third qualifying round. The Cypriotes are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but given their anything but good away record in European competitions, we are tempted to put our money on Liberec, whose boss can count on key players for the decider. It has to be noted that the two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Emilio Nsue):
Emilio Nsue is a pacey winger who was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on September 30, 1989. After starting his youth career at Atletico Baleares, he moved to Mallorca football academy in 2004 and he continued playing for los Bermellones at senior level.
Nsue scored 13 goals in 142 appearances for the club and you should know that he played for the likes of Castellon and Real Sociedad on loan from 2008 to 2010. In the summer of 2014 he moved to England, signing a three-year deal with Middlesbrough as a free agent. Emilio Nsue made his debut for the Boro on August 9 in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City at Riverside Stadium.
After making 70 appearances in the league for Middlesbrough, he joined Birmingham City on January 18, 2017 on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Despite being born in Spain, Nsue represents Equatorial Guinea national football team on the international stage. Nsue made his debut for Equatorial Guinea on March 21, 2013 in an unofficial friendly game against Benin.
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.