Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thursday’s football match at GelreDome pits together Vitesse and Basel, who face each other in the Europa League third qualifying round, first leg. Vitesse defeated Vitorul 3-1 to set up a meeting with Basel, but they will have to be at their sharpest in Thursday’s clash if they are to give fans yet another reason for celebration. The RotBlau, on the other hand, were totally outplayed by PAOK in the Champions League second qualifying round and it is more than obvious that the Swiss side are no longer sharp as they used to be in the past. The Dutch team proved their worth in the two-legged tie against Vitorul and seeing that Basel do not seem to be on top of their game, we are tempted to put our money on Leonid Slutskiy’s troops. The two teams meet for the first time ever in European competitions.
Highlighted Player (Silvan Widmer):
Silvan Widmer was born in Aarau, Switzerland on 5 March, 1993 and, as expected, he began his senior career at his home-town club Aarau. He made nine appearances for the reserve team in the 2010/2011 campaign and he played for the first team between 2011 and 2013, scoring 11 goals in 65 league appearances for the club.
The pacey right back, who is capable of playing as a right midfielder and a left back, signed a deal with Udinese in the summer of 2012, but he remained at Aarau until 2013. Silvan Widmer has 15 caps for Switzerland U21 team and he played for the U 19 side in the past as well, scoring three goals in eight appearances for the team.
He made his debut for the senior team on 31 March, 2015, in a 1-1 draw with USA in Zurich. Widmer came as a substitute to replace fellow Serie A footballer Lichtsteiner after 46 minutes. His contract with Udinese expires on 30 June, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Basel):
One of the most successful football clubs in Switzerland, FC Basel were founded in 1893. The RotBlau as they are referred to by the Swiss play their games at the St. Jacob Park in Basel in front of 37,500 people which is the maximum capacity of the venue.
The 19-time Swiss champions have endured difficult times in 1980s which ultimately led to relegation from the top flight in 1987. FC Basel returned to the top tier of Swiss football in 2000s to win their first league title in 22 years and go on to win it nine more times over 13 seasons since 2002. The golden times for FC Basel brought European inclusion in every season since 1999-2000 with a pinnacle being the semi-finals of the Europa League in 2012-13.
The RotBlau have so far played over 95 UEFA Champions League games, winning almost half of their European outings. The Swiss club has produced plenty of talented players who went on to become prominent footballers all across Europe with Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka being the most outstanding members of the latest generation.