Our football match prediction:
Arena Nationala in Bucharest will host Thursday’s football game between Steaua and Rapid Wien, who face each other in the Europa League final qualifying round, return leg. Steaua suffered a 3-1 loss to Rapid in the Austrian capital, meaning that they will have a mountain to climb in the return leg if they are to book their place in the group stages of the European competition. The Romanians are on a three-game winning run at home in the Europa League and the fact that they defeated the likes of Lazio, Rudar and Hajduk Split in those matches is giving fans a reason for optimism ahead of the visit of Rapid. The Austrians, though, are high on confidence ahead of the second leg and seeing that they impressed in the 3-1 win over Steaua, share of spoils appears on the horizon.
Highlighted Player (Denis Alibec):
After starting his senior career at Farul Constanta, Denis Alibec joined Italian giants Inter in 2009, but he failed to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Serie A club. The Romanian attacker made no more than two appearances for the Nerazzurri in the Italian top flight and he was hungry for a first-team football. As a result, he signed a loan deal with Mechelen in 2011 and he spent the 2012/2013 season at Viitorul Constanta. Denis Alibec played one match for Bologna on loan as well and in 2014 he signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Astra Giurgiu. Alibec scored 32 goals in 64 appearances for the club before joining Steaua Bucharest in 2017. He has been playing for the Stelistii ever since and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals for the Romanian outfit in the 2016/2017 Liga 1 campaign. Denis Alibec made his debut for the Romania national football team on October 11, 2015 in an Euro 2016 qualifier against Faroe Islands.
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.