Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Saint-Etienne will be looking to record their first win in Group I when they host Oleksandria at their Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Thursday evening. Les Verts have been struggling to find their best form in the first half of the season, but the game against Oleksandria could be the turning point for them. Saint-Etienne produce much better showings at home than on the travels and they will not have a better chance than this to record their first victory of the 2019/2020 Europa League season.
A man to watch in the home team will be Tunisia international Wahbi Khazri, who found the net in the 3-2 loss to Gent. The Ukrainians suffered a 3-1 loss to Wolfsburg in their opener and since they were more than fortunate to grab something from the Gent game, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the Ligue 1 outfit. The two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Yann M Vila):
Formerly a blistering talent and one of the most promising youngsters in French football, Yann M’Vila ended up being a class book example of a player who made all the wrong choices. Having started his career at the age of six with ES Sains-Saint-Fussein, M’Villa was quick to turn heads of the big boys. He was given a chance to move through youth ranks at Rennes where he was given a professional debut in 2009 but it was not long after that his problematic lifestyle came back to haunt him.
Yann M’Villa got suspended from all national teams after an unauthorized night out while on U21 duty with France, a ban which left mark on his club career as well. Despite interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, M’Villa was sold to Rubin kazan in January 2013 which was the time his nomadic experience as a footballer began.
Spells as Inter Milan and Sunderland failed to help him get back to prominence and meet the early expectations, however. Currently a St Etienne player, M’Villa is hoping to re-establish himself back in his homeland.
Highlighted Team (Oleksandriya):
Based in Oleksandriya, Kirovohrad Oblast, FC Oleksandriya are a Ukrainian professional football club. The Mistiany wear yellow shirts and black shorts when playing at home, whilst the club’s away colours are white and green.
CSK Nika is the club’s home ground, the stadium which can hold no more than 7,000 spectators. Nika Stadium was renovated in 1998 in place of Shakhtar Stadium. FC Oleksandriya returned to the Premier League in 2015 and they have been competing in the Ukrainian top flight ever since.
The Mistiany booked their place in the Europa League group stages in the 2018/2019 season, with the team facing Wolfsburg, Gent and Saint-Etienne in Group I. FC Oleksandriya were producing fine performances in the 2018/2019 season, beating star-studded Dynamo Kiev in front home fans. The club eventually finished the campaign in third position in the standings, 16 points behind champions Shakhtar Donetsk.