Our football match prediction:
A place in the Europa League knockout stages will be at stake when Maccabi Tel Aviv and Dundalk face each other at Winner Stadium. The Irish team have been playing above expectation in Group D and they will be looking to claim yet another major scalp in the process when they face Maccabi in Tel Aviv. However, it is well known that Lilywhites struggle on the travels and that is the main reason why we are not tempted to put our money on the visitors this time out. A win over Dundalk could see Maccabi sneak into the last 32 and we predict that the hosts will fight tooth and nail in Thursday’s football match. When the two teams met at Tallaght Stadium in the reverse fixture the Lilywhites emerged triumphant, but, as we have already mentioned, their away performances in the Europa League leave a lot to be desired.
Highligted Player (Egor Filipenko):
Egor Filipenko is a Maccabi Tel Aviv defender who was born in Minsk, Belarus on 10 April, 1988. He began his senior career at BATE Borisov, but his main goal was to join Russian Premier League. His wish came true in 2008 as he signed a contract with Russian giants Spartak Moscow. After playing 16 league games for the capital club, he returned to BATE Borisov in 2011 on loan and he eventually signed a permanent deal with the Belarusian outfit. On 5 January, 2015 Filipenko joined la Liga side Malaga on a two-and-a-half-year deal, but he made no more than eight league appearances with los Boquerones. In the summer of 2016 the Belarusian footballer moved to Israel, signing a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Speaking of his international career, Egor Filipenko made his Belarus debut on 12 September, 2007, coming as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Slovenia in the Euro 2008 qualifier. His contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Dundalk):
Dundalk are the second most successful club in the Republic of Ireland in the term of titles won. In 2015 Dundalk clinched their 11th Premier Division trophy and the same season they lifted their 10th FAI Cup title. The club was founded in 1903 and their biggest rivals are Drogheda United. The Lilywhites made it to the 2016/2017 Europa League group stages and, against all odds, they shared the spoils with AZ Alkmaar in Netherlands on their debut in Group D. Dundalk play their home matches at Oriel Park and the capacity of the stadium is 4,500 (3,000 seated). The venue was opened in 1919 and in 2005 the pitch was converted to an all-weather surface, becoming the first ever Irish club to do so. Their home colours are white and black, whilst they play their away games in black jerseys with yellow stripes and black shorts. Joey Donnelly is one of the notable footballers who played for Dundalk in the past as he scored 141 goals for the club in all competitions.