Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Otkrytiye Arena will host Thursday’s football game between Spartak Moscow and Rapid Wien, the two teams who are still in the race for a place in the Europa League knockout stages. Spartak Moscow did well to beat Glasgow Rangers 4-3 in their last group game, with the team regaining a much-needed confidence. The Russian side recorded their first win of the process and a triumph over Rapid Wien will see them move one step closer to booking their place in the last 32. The Austrian side, on the other hand, are on a three-game winless run ahead of the trip to the Russian capital and they are eager to grab something from Thursday’s clash. However, seeing that Spartak have turned their Oktrytiye Arena into a real fortress, we predict that the visitors are going to return home empty-handed.
Highlighted Player (Fernando):
Fernando Lucas Martins began his football career at Gremio, making his debut for the club on 24 January, 2010 against Veranopolis Sports Club. Fernando played 69 league games for Gremio and in 2013 he signed a deal with Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk. The defensive midfielder, who is a capable of playing as a central midfielder as well, made 27 league appearances for the Miners, scoring two goals for the club between 2013 and 2015. On 6 July, 2015, the Brazilian footballer joined Sampdoria for a fee of €8 million and he played 35 games for La Samp in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign. Fernando, though, left the club at the end of the season as he signed a contract with Russian side Spartak Moscow. The former Sampdoria midfielder won the 2009 South American U17 Football Championship with Brazil, while clinching the South American Youth Championship with Brazil U20. Fernando did well to win Campeonato Gaucho with Gremio (2010) and he helped Shakhtar clinch the 2013/2014 Ukrainian Premier League trophy.
Highlighted Team (Rapid Vienna):
Rapid Wien are considered the most successful club in the history of Austrian football. In 2008 the capital club won their 32th domestic title and in 1995 they clinched their 15th Austrian Cup trophy. Die Grun-Weissen were founded back in 1898 as Erster Wiener Arbeiter-Fussball-Club and one year later the club was renamed to Sportklub Rapid Wien. In 1904 the club’s colours were changed to green and white and they have been wearing green and white shirts ever since. In 1985 Rapid made it to the Cup Winners Cup final and it has to be noted that they participated in the final competition in 1996 as well. Famous German footballer Lothar Matthaus was in charge of the team between September 2001 and May 2002, but he failed to record a good result with the Weststadion outfit. Weststadion has been the home ground of Rapid Wien since 16 July, 2016 and you should bear in mind that the capacity of the stadium is 28 000. Rapid’s fiercest rivals are Austria Wien.