Astana vs APOEL
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 30 August 2018
Kick-Off at 15:00 UK / 16:00 CET
Venue: Astana Arena, Astana.
Astana will be hoping to annul the one-goal deficit from the first leg played seven days ago in Nicosia, aiming for their fourth consecutive appearance in the group stage of either Champions League or Europa League.
They were not the inferior side on the pitch in the 90 minutes of play at Neo GSP, but they still trail ahead of the rematch “thanks” to Brazilian defender Caju whose late second-half goal made all the difference in the first match.
The hosts, who won the domestic league in four straight years, have been struggling for goals of late.
They failed to find the back of the net in last four matches in continental competitions and keeping a clean sheet would be of a crucial significance if they want to make it through to the group stage as it is hard to believe Roman Grigorchuk’s side could score three or more goals past the stern APOEL side here.
Astana vs APOEL: Head-to-head
The draw has put these two sides together in three of last four years in continental competitions.
They first met in the UCL qualifications back in the 2015/16 campaign when Kazakhstani champions advanced 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a narrow 1-0 victory in front of the home fans.
They then met each other in the group stage of Europa League in the following year when both teams snatched narrow 2-1 wins on the home patch.
Finally, the first leg of their UEL play-offs ties this year saw a 1-0 victory for APOEL.
Astana vs APOEL: Prediction
The stakes are high as both teams are used to play group stages of continental competitions and a failure here in the play-offs would be a massive blow for any of sides.
The visitors will sit at the back and wait for their chances from counter attacks, while Grigorchuk’s troops will also have to be very careful not to allow a cheap goal which would make their job much harder (not to say a mission impossible).
The Under 2.5 goals FT thus pops up as the safest of the betting options and you can go for it at the odds of 1.61. Braver tipsters can shoot for the 1-0 correct score at 6.00.
Astana vs APOEL: Bet Tips
Under 2.5 goals FT @ 1.61
1-0 Correct Score @ 6.00.