Our football match prediction:
Panionios outplayed Slovenian side Gorica in the Europa League second qualifying round, but beating Maccabi Tel Aviv in the double-header is obviously easier said than done. The Greek side suffered a 1-0 loss to Maccabi in Tel Aviv, with Vidar Orn Kjartansson scoring the winner for the Israeli outfit in the first leg. Johan Cruijff’s men aim to defend their slim led, but Thursday’s football match will be anything but a walk in the park for the visitors. A close encounter appears on the horizon and we would not be surprised if the game goes into extra-time. Panionios recorded a routine 2-0 win over Gorica in their last home game in the process and they are definitely capable of beating Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stadio Neas Smirnis. Samed Yesil has been scoring goals for fun in the Europa League qualifiers and all eyes will be on him when the two teams face each other in Athens.
Highlighted 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 (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest and probably the biggest clubs in Israel. The club was founded in 1906 and they have been playing an important role in the Israeli League ever since. In 2015 Maccabi won their 21st trophy in the national championship and the same season they clinched their 23rd Israeli Cup title. The club’s fiercest rivals are Hapoel Tel-Aviv and they welcome their opponents at Netanya Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 13 610. The likes of Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa are considered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s bitter rivals as well. In 1969 the club won the AFC Champions League and they repeated the success two years later, beating Aliyat Al-Shorta in the final. The likes of Jordi Cruyff, Paulo Sousa, Rade Prica, Moanes Dabour and Vincent Enyeama are the high-profile footballers who were part of the team in the past. The colour of Maccabi’s home kit is yellow and blue.