Our football match prediction:
Astana take on Rennes at their Astana Arena in their second group game in the 2018/2019 Europa League campaign. The Kazaks did well to hold Dynamo Kiev to a 2-2 draw on the road in their opener, meaning that they are in the race for a place in the knockout stages. Astana occupy top position in the Kazakhstan Premier League standings and seeing that they are tough to beat at home, we predict that the hosts are going to grab something from Thursday’s football match. Rennes, on the other hand, have been having their ups and downs at the start of the new Ligue 1 campaign, but they kicked off their Europa League campaign in style as they defeated Jablonec in front of home fans. The two teams seem to be evenly matched ahead of the Astana Arena clash and we predict that they are going to share the spoils in the second group game.
Highlighted Player (Dmitri Shomko):
Born in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan on March 19, 1990 Dmitri Andreievich Shomko is a defender who plays for Astana. Shomko is a product of his home-town club Ekibastuzets, but he started his senior career at Batyr Ekibastuz. As expected, the 182-cm tall footballer returned to his boyhood club and it has to be noted that he made nine appearances in the league for Ekibastuzets. Dmitri Shomko then moved to Irtysh Pavlodar and he played for the Kazak club from 2009 to 2014. In 2011 he was sent on loan to Astana and three years later he signed a permanent deal with the Blue and Yellows. His main position is left-back, but he is used as a left midfielder as well. Over the years Shomko has established himself as a first-team regular at Kazakhstan national football team and he made his debut for the Hawks on February 2, 2011 in a 1-1 draw with Belarus. Shomko came as a substitute for Nurgaliev in the 85th minute of the match. He has 17 caps for the U21 team as well.
Highlighted Team (Stade Rennes):
Stade Rennais Football Club or simply Rennes are a French football club which was founded on March 10, 1901. The club is one of the founding members of the French Ligue 1 and they are nicknamed Les Rouges et Noirs. Roazhon Park is the club’s home ground and the venue can hold 29.778 people. Rennes have yet to win the Ligue 1 trophy, but they won Coupe de France title on two occasions (1964/1965, 1970/1971). Speaking of Coupse de la Ligue, les Rouges et Noirs made it to the final of the competition in the 2012/2013 season, but they were beaten by Saint Etienne (1-0) in the title game at Stade de France. A number of top-class footballers played for Stade Rennais Football Club in the past and the likes of Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann M’Vila, Moussa Sow and Jimmy Briand are considered the club’s most notable players. Rennes footballers wear black and red jerseys when playing at home, while they wear white when playing on the travels.