Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Spartak Moscow play host to Legia at their Otkrytiye Arena in the opening match of their Europa League campaign. The Russian outfit head into the match following a 3-1 league win over Khimki, and the bookies see them as favourites to win Thursday’s clash. All Maslov, Selikhov, and Melkadze are out of contention through injuries. Legia, on the other hand, booked their place in the Europa League group stages by beating Slavia Prague in the double-header.
The Polish outfit, though, made a slow start to the new Ekstraklasa campaign, which is probably the main reason why we are tempted to put our money on Spartak Moscow. Midfielder Bartosz Kapustka is sidelined with injury, but he should be the only absentee in the away team. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in a competitive match since 2011.
Highlighted Player (Roman Zobnin):
Roman Zobnin is a talented Russian footballer who was born in Irkutsk on February 11, 1994. Zobnin played for the likes of Zvezda Irkutsk and Konoplyov football academy during his youth career, while starting his senior career Akademiya Tolyatti.
In 2013 Dynamo Moscow chiefs brought him to Arena Khimki and he played for the capital club from 2013 to 2016, scoring two league goals for the White-blues during that period. Roman Zobnin then moved to Spartak Moscow and he has been playing for the Krasno-Belye ever since. His main position is central midfield, but he is capable of playing as both attacking and defensive midfielder as well.
Roman Zobnin made his debut for the Russian national team in March, 2015 in a friendly game against Kazakhstan. It has to be noted that his older Aleksandr Zobnin was also a professional footballer. Roman Zobnin has a contract with Spartak Moscow, which expires in June, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Legia):
Legia is a football club based in Warsaw and it is one of the most successful sides in Polish history. The Militarians – as they are commonly referred to in Poland – have won 11 Ekstraklasa Championship title, while they also hold the record-18 Polish Cup trophies and four Polish SuperCup matches.
Founded as the main official football club of the Polish Army, Legia Warsaw are playing theirhome matches at the Polish Army Stadium which can accommodate 31,000 people. Legia have endured mixed fortunes at the international scene with the Polish giants regularly participating in Europa League, with four group inclusions over the last six years. The Militarians headed into the 2016-17 season feeling buoyed and motivated having succeeded in ending the 20-year Champions League wait, becoming the first Polish team to take part in Europe’s elite competition over the last two decades.
The 3-1 aggregate playoff victory over Irish Dundalk earned them a place in the final showpiece with Legia being thrown into a heavy mix with the likes of Sporting CP, Borussia Dortmund and European champions Real Madrid.