Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thursday’s football game at Estadio Do Dragao pits together Porto and Young Boys, the two teams who face each other for the first time ever in the Europa League group stages. The Portuguese Dragons suffered a shocking loss to Krasnodar in the Champions League qualifiers, but they are seen as favourites to win their Europa League opener against Young Boys.
Despite the fact that several first-team regulars left the club in the summer transfer window, coach Sergio Conceicao still has a number of top-class footballers to choose from. Summer signing Ze Luis, who has been scoring goals for fun in the national championship at the start of the season, is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. Young Boys are tough to beat at home as their play on the artificial grass, but given their poor away record in European competitions, we are tempted to put our money on the Dragons.
Highlighted Player (Shoya Nakajima):
Born in Hachioji, Tokyo on August 23, 1994, Shoya Nakajima is a Japanese footballer who plays for Porto as a winger. Nakajima is a product of his hometown club Tokyo Verdy and he continued playing for the capital club at senior level, scoring 6 goals in 29 appearances for the Ajinomoto Stadium Chofu outfit.
In 2014 he moved to fellow capital club FC Tokyo and after ending his loan spells with the likes of Kataller Toyama and Portimonense, he signed a permanent deal with the Portuguese club. After scoring only one goal in seven appearances for Al-Duhail, Shoya Nakajima moved to Porto in 2019, signing a five-year deal with the Primeira Liga outfit.
Nakajima made his debut with the Japanese national team on March 23, 2018 against Mali, scoring the only foal for the Samurai Blue in the 1-1 draw with the African side. His preferred foot is right and his main position is right midfield.
Highlighted Team (Young Boys):
Just five years after its foundation Young Boys won their first Swiss Super League trophy (1903). The capital club won no less than 11 domestic trophies in the 20th century, but they have been in Basel’s shadow in the last two decades. Young Boys won their last Swiss Super League title back in 1986, while lifting their last Swiss Cup trophy in 1987.
The Yellow and Blacks welcome their rivals at Stade de Suisse, which acts as a national stadium and it has to be noted that they play their home games on artificial turf. Swiss football legend Stephane Chapuisat played for the club in the past and you should bear in mind that former Yugoslavia coach Vujadin Boskov played for the Stade de Suisse outfit in the past as well.
Young Boys played their first official game on 29 June, 1898 and they shared the spoils with Institute Grunau back then. The Swiss team participated in the 2016/2017 Champions League qualifiers, but they failed to make it to the group stages of the elite competition.