Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Stadion Gradski vrt when Osijek and Basel face each other in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers. Osijek chiefs are on a quest to put an end to Dinamo Zagreb’s dominance in Croatian football, and they did well to pump up a lot of money into the squad. Ivica Kulesevic’s men, though, have been playing below expectations at the start of the season, and we do not believe that there is a big value in betting on the hosts.
Basel, on the other hand, failed to regain the Swiss Super League trophy last term. The Rotblau have been struggling at the back in preseason, and given Osijek’s shaky defence, we believe that punters can find value in betting on both teams to score. It has to be noted that the two teams have never met before in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Silvan Widmer):
Silvan Widmer was born in Aarau, Switzerland on 5 March, 1993 and, as expected, he began his senior career at his home-town club Aarau. He made nine appearances for the reserve team in the 2010/2011 campaign and he played for the first team between 2011 and 2013, scoring 11 goals in 65 league appearances for the club.
The pacey right back, who is capable of playing as a right midfielder and a left back, signed a deal with Udinese in the summer of 2012, but he remained at Aarau until 2013. Silvan Widmer has 15 caps for Switzerland U21 team and he played for the U 19 side in the past as well, scoring three goals in eight appearances for the team.
He made his debut for the senior team on 31 March, 2015, in a 1-1 draw with USA in Zurich. Widmer came as a substitute to replace fellow Serie A footballer Lichtsteiner after 46 minutes. His contract with Udinese expires on 30 June, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Basel):
One of the most successful football clubs in Switzerland, FC Basel were founded in 1893. The RotBlau as they are referred to by the Swiss play their games at the St. Jacob Park in Basel in front of 37,500 people which is the maximum capacity of the venue.
The 19-time Swiss champions have endured difficult times in 1980s which ultimately led to relegation from the top flight in 1987. FC Basel returned to the top tier of Swiss football in 2000s to win their first league title in 22 years and go on to win it nine more times over 13 seasons since 2002. The golden times for FC Basel brought European inclusion in every season since 1999-2000 with a pinnacle being the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2012-13.
The RotBlau have so far played over 95 UEFA Champions League games, winning almost half of their European outings. The Swiss club has produced plenty of talented players who went on to become prominent footballers all across Europe with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka being the most outstanding members of the latest generation.