Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Despite producing a fine display against APOEL in their second group game, Olympiakos failed to grab something from the match. The Greeks, though, defeated Young Boys in Bern in their Europa League opener, meaning that they are still in the race for a place in the knockout stages of the competition. Paulo Bento’s men have been producing scintillating showings in the national championship of late and they will be looking to build on back-to-back wins over AEK and Panionios when they square off against Astana in Thursday’s football match. Over the years the Thrylos have turned their Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki and considering that they missed a number of clear-cut chances to score in the 1-0 loss to APOEL, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in their third group game. Astana recorded only one win in previous six games in the Europa League and they are unlikely to spoil Olympiakos’ party in Piraeus.
Highlighted Player (Stefanos Kapino):
Stefanos Kapino is a professional footballer who plays for Greek side Olympiakos as a goalkeeper. He started his senior career at Panathinaikos, Olympiakos’ bitterest rivals and he made 41 league appearances for Oi Prasanoi. Kapino played for Bundesliga side Mainz in the past as well, but he made no more than two league appearances for the German outfit in the 2014/2015 season. In 2015 he 196-cm-tall shoot-stopper signed a three-year deal with Olympiakos for a fee of €2 million, but he played just three league games for the Thrylos in the 2015/2016 Greek Superleague campaign. Stefanos Kapino, though, won the national championship with Olympiakos in 2016, while clinching the 2014 Greek Cup with the club. Kapino is a footballer of Albanian descent, but he represents Greece on the international stage. On 15 November, 2011 he made his debut for the Greek national team in a friendly match against Romania. He became the youngest footballer to play for Greece at senior level (17 years and 241 days).
Highlighted Team (FC Astana):
Astana are a professional football club based in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Blue and Yellows were founded in 2009 and five years later they won their first Kazakhstan Premier League trophy. Astana managed to defend their title in 2015, with the team finishing the season just one point clear of Kairat in the standings. The Kazakhs participated in the Champions League group stages in the 2015/2016 season, but they failed to record a win in the elite competition. However, it has to be noted that they managed to hold star-studded Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in front of home fans. Astana play their home games at Astana Arena and the capacity of the venue is 30 244. The stadium was opened on 3 July, 2009 and the construction cost $185 million. Astana’s home kits are yellow with blue strips and they play their away games in navy-blue kits. The team recorded their biggest win on 19 June, 2011 when they outclassed Kairat 6-1 in the Kazakhstan Premier League.