Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Belgian outfit Royal Antwerp will try to make up a two-goal deficit on Thursday if they host Omonia in the return leg of theirs Europe League Playoff tie.
The visitors took a comfortable lead in a strong second half in Cyprus on Thursday, but they will know they have a lot more to do to take the overall win.
Prediction for this match
With third place in the Belgian top division last season, Royal Antwerp got a place in the Europa League in the playoff round, so that there was only one biped between them and the group stage.
However, that has not gone according to plan so far as they return to Belgium after a 4-2 loss to Omonia in the first leg of the playoffs, although Benson Manuel take the lead in the first half.
The hosts quickly scored three goals to turn the game upside down, and during Koji Miyoshi took back a goal after an hour and the Cypriot team’s lead doubled again in the final minutes to give Brian Priske‘s side a particularly difficult task in the second leg.
This continued the difficult start of the season for The Great Old, as they only ranked on four points from their first four games in the Belgian First Division A Kortrijk.
Upon their return to the Bosuil Stadium, Priske’s men will try to face the odds and make up for the gap to secure their place in the Europa League group stage despite a difficult trial.
The guests come to the defense with a two-goal lead, after one Loizos Loizou Bracket and a Andronikos Kakoullis Goal put her in a dominant position and Iyayi Atiemwen converted a late penalty to make sure they get into the away game with a cushion.
That came after Henning Berg‘s men passed Estonian team Flora in the third qualifying round Marinos Tzionis Goal that puts them in the lead on home turf.
A goal from Kakoullis doubled the lead in the away game at half time, but the opponent was able to cut the deficit in half quickly Rauno Sappinen before scoring his second goal in the final minutes to bring the tie to extra time.
Without changing the score in the additional 30 minutes, the game went to a penalty shootout and Omonia took over as Fabiano disputed Sten Reinkort in the decisive spot kick.
Despite failing to qualify for the Champions League after a 3-0 aggregate loss to Dinamo Zagreb, they will now be confident of making it to this year’s Europa League group stage, although the task is far from over as it is ahead of a difficult trip to Belgium stand with a leash for protection.
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Royal Antwerp comes into play without an attacker Sander Coopman and Michael Frey, as the couple continues to be out due to injury.
However, they recently brought quality to the team with the capture of the midfielder Radja Nainggolanwho has returned to his homeland over the past decade after successful stints in the Italian premier class with Cagliari, Roma and Inter Milan.
They boast a consummate line of defense with the Premier League champions Richie de Laet is expected to work with former Aston Villa center-back Bjorn Engels in the heart of the defense.
At the other end of the field of play, the line from Johannes Eggestein with the support of wingers Benson Manuel and Michel-Ange Balikwisha, while Koji Miyoshi could also be used after scoring a goal in the first leg as a result was required on Thursday.
Berg put in a long-awaited XI for the first leg, with Kakoullis and Fotios Papoulis leading the line in a 4-4-2 system.
Jordi Gomez offers a lot of quality and experience in midfield and he should be back in a strong midfield unit Mix Diskerud, Fouad Bachirou and winger Loizos Loizou, who scored a crucial brace at home.
Royal Antwerp possible starting line-up:
Butez; Bataille, Engels, De Laet, Vines; Nainggolan, Gerkens, Miyoshi; Manuel, Eggestein, Balikwisha
Omonia possible starting line-up:
Fabiano; Shehu, Lang, Panayiotou, Lecjaks; Loizou, Gomez, Bachirou, Diskerud; Kakoullis, papoulis
Probability: Royal Antwerp 3-2 Omonia (Omonia wins 6-5 in the overall standings)
Royal Antwerp entered the game as favorites after reaching the round of 16 last year and we certainly aren’t ruling them out from progressing.
However, we see that given their two-goal lead, the visitors have enough to emerge as narrow overall winners as they will have a chance to overtake an attacking Antwerp side at half-time.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data