Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Sevilla will be looking to build on a 3-0 win over Qarabag when they face APOEL at their Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in their second group game. Los Sevillanos aim to get their job done in the group stages of the Europa League as soon as possible and we are positive that they will go all guns blazing at the Cypriotes on Thursday evening.
The La Liga side are a real force to be reckoned with at home and despite the fact that boss Julen Lopetegui is going to his rotation policy, we believe that home win should be considered. APOEL experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 4-3 loss to Dudelange in their Europa League opener and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Sevilla’s party at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in their second group match.
Highlighted Player (Ever Banega):
Ever Banega is a classy midfielder well known for his precision passes and clinical ball-distribution skills. Having come through the youth ranks at Boca Juniors, Banega was earmarked for bigger responsibilities from a younger age.
When Fernando Gago moved to Real Madrid in 2007, he became a first-team regular at Boca. In 2008, he made a big money move to Valencia for a fee of around €20 million. His stint at Valencia was marked with frustrating injuries amidst difficulties in settling in the starting XI. It was only when he moved to Sevilla in 2014 that his array of skills was in full display.
Playing under Unai Emery who managed him at Valencia, Banega soon became the lynchpin for Sevilla. He was the cornerstone of their Europa League triumphs for the past two years. Banega’s pedigree in national colors is also unmatched having won an Olympic medal in 2008 and appearing in three Copa America tournaments.
Highlighted Team (APOEL):
APOEL are a Cypriot football club based in Nicosia. The Thrylos were founded on 8 November, 1926 and they won their first league trophy in 1932, defeating AEL Limassol 4-0 in the final. Over the years APOEL have established themselves as one of the best teams in Cyprus and they won their 25th domestic trophy in 2016.
The Thrylos participated in the 2014/2015 Champions League group stages, but they failed to make life difficult for the likes of PSG, Ajax and Barcelona, picking up no more than one point from possible 18. APOEL share a great rivalry with Omonia and the meeting between two teams is well known as the Nicosia derby.
A number of foreign footballers played for APOEL and it has to be noted that the likes of Daniel Florea, Dudu Biton, Marcos Tavares, Paul Okon, Dragisa Binic, Nenad Milosavljevic, Paulo Costa, Tiago Gomes, Alexandros Tziolis and Fernando Cavenaghi were all part of the team in the past. The colour of APOEL’s home kits is yellow.