Our football match prediction:
Crvena Zvezda have been producing splendid showings under new coach Vladan Milojevic. The Crveno-beli outplayed Irtysh of Kazakhstan in the Europa League second qualifying round and thanks to a 2-0 win over Sparta Prague in front of home fans in Belgrade the Serbian side moved one step closer to booking their place in the play-offs. Guelor Kanga scored a wonder goal in the 2-0 victory over Sparta and, no doubt, he will be the man to watch in the away team in Thursday’s football match. Nonetheless, seeing that Sparta coach Andrea Stramacioni welcomes several first-team regulars back to the starting line-up, we predict that the Czech side will emerge triumphant in the return leg. Rio Mavuba should be recalled to the starting XI, whilst experienced attacker Marc Janko should lead the attack for the hosts against Crvena Zvezda. Andrea Stramacioni’s men are a real force to be reckoned with at home and home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Tal Ben Haim II):
Tal Ben Haim is an experienced football player who is a product of Maccabi Tel Aviv youth school. He made 85 league appearances for Maccabi at senior level and in 2004 he moved to England, signing a three-year contract with Bolton Wanderers. Ben Haim scored one goal in 88 league games for the English outfit and in 2007 he moved to Chelsea. After making just 13 league appearances for the Blues in the 2007/2008 season, he moved to Manchester City in the summer of 2008 for a fee of £5 million. He made his Man City debut (league) against in a 4-2 loss to Aston Villa on 17 August, 2008. During his spell at the “island” he played for the likes of Sunderland, Portsmouth, West Ham and QPR as well and in 2013 he moved to Belgium, signing a deal with Standard Liege. At the end of the 2013/2014 season The Israeli defender returned to England as he signed a deal with Charlton Athletic. Ben Haim re-joined his hometown club Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2015.
Highlighted Team (Sparta Prague):
Established in 1893, Sparta Prague is one of Europe’s oldest clubs and the most successful side in Czech Republic, having won no fewer than 36 league titles and 27 Czech Cup trophies. The club play their games at the Generali Arena in Prague and hold a long-lasting rivalry with Slavia Prague. Sparta Prague enjoyed their Golden Years in the 1960’s, when average attendance was nearly 40,000 and players like Jiri Tichy, Andrej Kvasnak and Vaclav Masek entertained the crowds week in week out. Rudi largely impressed in the maiden Champions League campaign during the 1991/92 season as they finished second in the semi-final group, meaning they were among top 4 European sides at the moment. Nevertheless, Sparta Prague have enjoyed little to no success on the European stage since, reaching the Champions League knockout stages on just one occasion, with their latest major coup the return of prodigal son Tomas Rosicky from Arsenal.