Preview: Royal Antwerp vs. Omonia
Sports Mole provides an overview of Thursday’s Europa League clash between Royal Antwerp and Omonia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
belgian outfit Royal Antwerp will look to reverse a two-goal deficit on Thursday, when they host Omonia in the second stage of their Europa League tie in the playoffs.
A solid second half saw Thursday’s visitors take a comfortable lead in Cyprus, but they will know they have a lot more to do if they are to claim the overall victory.
Due to their third place in the Belgian top flight last season, Royal Antwerp were allowed to make the Europa League in the qualifiers, meaning only one two-legged affair separated them from the group stage.
It hasn’t gone as planned so far, as they return to Belgium after a 4-2 loss to Omonia in the first leg of the playoffs, despite Benson Manuel giving them a lead in the first half.
The hosts quickly scored three goals to turn the game around, and while Koji Miyoshi brought a goal on the hour mark, the Cypriot side’s lead was again doubled in the dying minutes to give Brian priske, a particularly difficult task in the second leg.
This continued a difficult start to the season for The Great Old, as they only have four points from their first four appearances in the Belgian Premier Division A, the season starting with consecutive league losses against Mechelen and Kortrijk.
Upon their return to Bosuilstadion, Priske’s men will look to defy the odds and close the deficit in order to reserve their place in the Europa League group stage, despite facing a difficult test.
The visitors arrive with a lead of two goals to defend, after a Loizos Loizou hug and a Andronikos Kakoullis objective to put them in a dominant position and Iyayi Atiemwen converted a late penalty to ensure they enter the first leg with a cushion.
It came after Henning BergThe men’s defeated Estonian team Flora in the third qualifying round, with a Marinos Tzionis objective putting them forward at home.
The lead was then doubled at the stroke of half-time away thanks to a goal from Kakoullis, but their opponents quickly cut the gap in half thanks to Rauno Sappinen before hitting his second in the dying minutes to bring the draw into overtime.
With no change in score in the extra 30 minutes, the clash ended in a penalty shootout, and Omonia won as Fabien refuse Sten reinkort in the decisive kick.
Despite failing to qualify for the Champions League after a 3-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb, they will now be confident of reaching the Europa League group stage this year, although the job is still far from being finished as they face a difficult trip to Belgium. with a leash to protect.
Royal Antwerp Europa League form:
Royal Antwerp form (all competitions):
Omonia Europa League form:
Omonia form (all competitions):
Royal Antwerp come into play without attackers Sander coopman and Michel frey, as the pair continue to miss due to injury.
However, they have recently added quality to the side with the midfielder’s capture Radja Nainggolan, who is returning to his home country after successful stints in the Italian top flight with Cagliari, Rome and Inter Milan, over the past decade.
They have an accomplished back line, with the Premier League champion Richie de Laet expected to team up with former Aston Villa center-back Bjorn engels at the heart of defense.
At the other end of the field, the line must be led by Johannes Eggestein with backing from wingers Benson Manuel and Michelangelo Balikwisha, while Koji Miyoshi could also be deployed after coming off the bench to score in the first leg, given their need for a result on Thursday.
Berg deployed a widely anticipated XI for the first leg, with Kakoullis and Fotios Papoulis leader in a 4-4-2 system.
Jordi gomez offers a lot of quality and experience down the middle, and he should again be joined in a strong midfield unit by Mix Diskerud, Fouad Bachirou and winger Loizos Loizou, who scored a crucial brace in the home game.
Possible starting eleven from Royal Antwerp:
Stop; Bataille, Engels, De Laet, Vignes; Nainggolan, Gerkens, Miyoshi; Manuel, Eggestein, Balikwisha
Possible starting composition of Omonia:
Fabien; Shehu, Lang, Panayiotou, Lecjaks; Loizou, Gomez, Bachirou, Diskerud; Kakoullis, Papoulis
We say: Royal Antwerp 3-2 Omonia (Omonia wins 6-5 in total)
Royal Antwerp came into contention as favorites after reaching the round of 16 in last year’s competition, and we’re certainly not ruling them out of the progression.
However, we find that the visitors have enough to come out narrow cumulative winners given their two-goal lead, as they will have chances of catching an offensive Antwerp side at the break.
Our expert tipster partners on Sporita.com predict less than 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 3.5: data