Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thursday’s Europa League game at Estadio de la Ceramica pits together Villarreal and Sivasspor, the two teams who face each other for the first time in European competitions. The Yellow Submarine did well to reinforce the squad in the summer transfer window, and it is no wonder they are seen as hot favourites to win their opener. A man to watch in the home team will be former Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo, who is not getting any older.
Sivasspor, on the other hand, have been having their ups and downs in the new Turkish Super Lig campaign. The Turks are eyeing their first ever Europa League win, but beating Villarreal in Spain is easier said than done. The Yellow Submarine are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and we are positive that they are going to prove their worth on the field.
Highlighted Player (Ramiro Funes Mori):
Argentina isn’t known to produce great talents in defence but Ramiro Jose Funes Mori is an exception. The 25-year-old started his football career in the United States with FC Dallas. He won an MLS talent competition to get into their youth team but it was less than a year before he moved back to Argentina.
Mori joined River Plate as a youth player in 2008 and progressed to their senior team within three years. The young defender is nothing short of a club legend at River Plate having won six titles with the team. More than the titles and his performances, it was his performances in important games that is still vividly remembered.
His iconic goal against Boca Juniors is still part of the folklore. Mori joined English Premier League club Everton in 2015 and soon established himself as a regular there. Mori represented Argentina seven times and yet to score in national colors.
Highlighted Team (Sivasspor):
Sivasspor is a Turkish football club based in the city of Sivas. The Red and Whites have been competiting in the Super Lig since 2005, but they have yet to win the domestic trophy. The club’s biggest came in the 2008/09 season when they finished the campaign in the second position in the standings, five points behind champions Besiktas.
As a result, they represented Turkey in the Champions League third qualifying round. Anderlecht proved to be a big catch for the Yigidolar in the qualifiers for the elite competition and, to make things even worse for the fans, the Red and Whites were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League playoffs as well.
Sivasspor welcome their rivals at Sivas Stadium, which can hold up to 27,532 spectators. Max Gradel, Arouna Kone and Mustapha Yatabare are the notable players who play for the clubs. Sivasspor were founded on May 9, 1967.