Our football match prediction:
Thursday’s football game at Estadio de las Ceramicas pits together Villarreal and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Thanks to a 3-2 win at Astana the Yellow Submarine clinched top position in Group A and they will be looking to put icing on the cake on a successful Europa League campaign with a win over the Israeli outfit. Seeing that the La Liga team have already booked their place in the knockout stages, there is every chance coach Marcelino will mix the squad against Maccabi Tel Aviv and that is the main reason why we are not tempted to put our money on the hosts. Johan Cruijff’s team have been struggling in the group stages of the Europa League this term and, no doubt, they are determined to give fans some cheer. A close encounter is on the cards and we predict the two teams will share the spoils at Estadio de las Ceramicas.
Highlighted Player (Carlos Bacca):
One of the most talented strikers of this generation, the 29-year-old Carlos Bacca began his senior professional career at Atletico Junior. He caught attention with his exploits and ended up as top scorer in the league in 2010. Bacca signed with Club Brigge in 2012 where he was the league’s top scorer in the only full season he played for them. It was his move to Spanish club Sevilla that brought the best out of Bacca. The striker was an integral part of the team that won the UEFA Europa League in his first two years with the club. Having been courted by many top sides across the world, Bacca signed with Serie A side Milan in 2015 for a reported fee of €30 million. Bacca is well known for his pace and aggression which has won him 27 caps and 11 goals on international duty with Colombia, since 2012.
Highlighted Team (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest and probably the biggest clubs in Israel. The club was founded in 1906 and they have been playing an important role in the Israeli League ever since. In 2015 Maccabi won their 21st trophy in the national championship and the same season they clinched their 23rd Israeli Cup title. The club’s fiercest rivals are Hapoel Tel-Aviv and they welcome their opponents at Netanya Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 13 610. The likes of Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa are considered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s bitter rivals as well. In 1969 the club won the AFC Champions League and they repeated the success two years later, beating Aliyat Al-Shorta in the final. The likes of Jordi Cruyff, Paulo Sousa, Rade Prica, Moanes Dabour and Vincent Enyeama are the high-profile footballers who were part of the team in the past. The colour of Maccabi’s home kit is yellow and blue.