Our prediction for this Nations League match:
Cyprus and Kosovo go head to head at AEK Arena in what is expected to be an interesting UEFA Nations League game. Cyprus aim to build on a 2-0 win over Estonia, but Kosovo will pose a much bigger threat for the hosts than their previous rivals. A man to watch in the home team will be Pieros Sotiriou, who scored 17 goals for Ludogorets last term. The Kosovars, on the other hand, are on a quest to qualify for the major tournament for the first time ever.
New head coach Alain Giresse and his men have big ambitions for the upcoming Nations League campaign, but beating Cyprus in Larnaca is easier said than done. A close, low-scoring game is on the horizon, and we predict that the two sides are going to share the spoils in their first ever meeting on the international stage. Cyprus defenders should have Mallorca attacker Vedat Muriqi at bay.
Highlighted Player (Georgios Efrem):
Born in Limassol, Cyprus on 5 July, 1989 Georgios Efrem played for his hometown club Apollon Limassol during his youth career, but in 2004 he joined Premier League club Arsenal at the age of 15. In 2007 he moved to Rangers, but he didn’t see any game action with the Gers at senior level.
The pacey winger, who is capable of playing as an attacking midfielder as well, returned to Cyprus in 2009, signing a deal with Omonia. After scoring 25 goals in 134 league appearances for the club, the 171-cm-tall footballer joined fellow Cypriot outfit APOEL on 6 June, 2014. Efrem made his debut for the club against Helsinki on 30 July, 2014 in the Europa League qualifying match.
It has to be noted that he was named the best player of the 2015/2016 Cypriot First Division campaign. The APOEL winger made his Cyprus debut on 3 March, 2010 in a goalless draw with Iceland. Four years later he scored his first ever hat-trick for the Cypriot national team in a 5-0 triumph over Andorra.
Highlighted Team (Kosovo):
Despite the fact that a number of countries have yet to recognize Kosovo, they have been participating in the World Cup qualifiers September 5, 2016. Kosovo did well to hold Finland to a 1-1 draw in their opener, but they were outclassed by Croatia (0-6) in their second group game.
Albert Bunjaki’s men have slim chances of qualifying for the showpiece tournament in Russia, but, no doubt, they will use qualifying matches to gain a much-needed experience. Kosovo recorded their biggest win over Monaco on April 22, 2006, but they were not a member of FIFA back then. The Kosovo national football team played their first ever international friendly against Haiti in March 2014 and the match ended in a goalless draw.
Kosovo footballers wear blue shirts and black shorts when playing at home, while they play in yellow shirts and yellow shorts when facing their rivals on the road. Albert Bunjaku, who played for the likes of Nurnberg and Kaiserslautern in the past, is the team’s most notable player.