Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Athletic Club made a slow start to their Europa League campaign, but thanks to back-to-back wins over the likes of Ostersunds and Hertha they managed to keep their hopes of advancing to the last 32 alive. The Lions sit in second place in Group J ahead of Thursday’s football game against Zorya and they are one point away from meeting the goal. The Basques are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach against the Ukrainian outfit, but we predict that they will have opportunities to find the net on the break. Zorya did remarkably well to shock Athletic Club at San Mames Barria in their second group game, but we do not believe that they are capable of repeating the success. Yury Vernydub’s men failed to score in defeats to Ostersunds and Hertha and they are unlikely to book their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Highlighted Player (Oleksiy Shevchenko):
Oleksiy Shevchenko is a Ukrainian goalkeeper who was born in Dnipropetrovsk on February 24, 1992. The 188-cm tall shot-stopper played for his home-town club Inter Dnipropetrovsk during his youth career and he started his senior career at Metalurh Zaporizhya. Oleksiy Shevchenko made 13 appearances for Metalurh 2, while playing no more than 13 games for the first team. In 2013 he moved to Dynamo Kyiv, but he was immediately sent on loan to Hoverla Uzhhorod. The Ukrainian goalkeeper played for the likes of Olimpik Donetsk, Torpedo Kutaisi and Dila Gori on loan as well before signing a contract with Zorya Luhansk in 2016. Shevchenko made his debut for Zorya in the Ukrainian Premier League on April 10, 2016 in a 2-1 loss to Dnipro. He quickly established himself as a first-team regular at Zorya and he did well to keep ten clean sheets in 25 appearances for Zorya in the 2016/2017 Ukrainian Premier League campaign. Shevchenko received his first call-up for the Ukraine national football team in October 2016 for 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Turkey and Kosovo.
Highlighted Team (Athletic Bilbao):
Athletic Club (mostly known as Athletic de Bilbao) is a Spanish football club from the Bask region which is playing currently in the Primera Division. The club from Bilbao is playing in the highest Spanish division since its founded in 1928 and is next to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona for a longest period of time in the Primera Division. Athletic de Bilbao used to play until 2012 in the San Mames stadium (also known as La Catedral).
Since 2013 the club is playing in anew stadium. Athletic Bilbao is known for its rivalry with Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid was founded by Bask students in Madrid. The old relationship between both teams is visible in the red blue jerseys of both teams.
The second team Athletic de Bilbao is playing in the Segunda Division B in Spain. Athletic Bilbao won the Primera Division 8 times, the Copa del Rey 24 times, the Spanish super cup 2 times. Athletic de Bilbao didn’t won any prizes in Europe yet but managed to be the runner up in 1977 and 2012 in the UEFA cup.