Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Partizan were on the verge of beating AZ Alkmaar on the road in their last group game, but the Eredivisie outfit eventually scored two late goals to book their place in the Europa League knockout stages. AZ Alkmaar ruined Partizan’s hopes of making it to the last 32 of the European competitions, but the Serbian side are likely to go for a win in their last group game against Astana.
Head coach Savo Milosevic is eager to keep his job, and we are positive that the hosts will take Thursday’s football match very seriously. The Kazakhs, on the other hand, did well to win the domestic trophy, but they failed to make it to the Europa League knockout stages. Astana did defeat Manchester United 2-1 in their last group match, but, it has to be noted that the Red Devils’ coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rested first-team regulars in the Astana Arena clash.
Highlighted Player (Zoran Tosic):
Zoran Tosic is a Serbian winger playing for CSKA Moscow under a reputation of a free-kick specialist and a tricky dribbler. Technically gifted player has become an important asset for the Army Men in recent years who has made huge strides to prominence after his failed move to Manchester United.
The 29-year-old Serbia international moved to Old Trafford in 2009 from Partizan Belgrade, but has only played 74 minutes of competitive action for the Premier League side. The Serbian was quickly demoted to the reserve team before leaving the club on loan to Bundesliga outfit FC Koln. Tosic played just 13 league matches in Germany, but still managed to grab plenty of attention with his impressive appearances.
It wasn’t long before Russia’s powerhouse CSKA came knocking offering Tosic a five-year contract with a transfer fee believed to be worth £8 million. Serbia international has been a national team regular since 2007 so far notching more than 70 appearances for his country.
Highlighted Team (Astana):
Astana are a Kazakh football club which was founded in 2009. The Blue and Yellows won their first domestic trophy in 2014, with the team finishing the regular part of the season in third place in the standings. However, thanks to their brilliant displays in the Championship round Astana won the national championship.
The big-spending Kazakh club have always been attracting high-profile footballers from Russia and Ukraine and it has to be noted that the likes of Yegor Titov, Andrey Tikhonov and Maksim Shatshikh played for the Blue and Yellows in the past. Nowadays Astana are considered the best football club in Kazakhstan and you should bear in mind that they won their third consecutive league title in 2016.
However, participating in the 2015/2016 Champions League group stages is considered the club’s biggest success. Astana faced the likes of Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray in Group C and they collected 4 points from possible 18 in the process. It has to be noted that they shared the spoils with Diego Simeone’s men at their Astana Arena.