Omonia will play host to Antwerp at Neo GSP Stadium on Thursday, August 19, in the first leg of the Europa League qualifiers. It will mark the first meeting between the two clubs, and one both will be eager to win and get themselves one step closer to qualifying for European football.
Omonia vs Antwerp
When: Thursday, August 19 – 20:00 EEST
Where: Neo GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus
Weather: Clear, 31°C
Referee: Lars Christian Andreas Ekberg (SWE)
Omonia and Antwerp will clash on Thursday in the finals of the Europa League qualifiers. Omonia will have the luxury of playing the first leg at home, where they have suffered only two losses across their last 10 outings, one of which came against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the Belgian outfit will hope they can steal at least a point from their trip to Cyprus and count on home ground advantage in the reverse fixture to secure them a ticket for the Europa League. Still, winning the match isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for Antwerp, regardless of their poor 3-2-4 away record.
Mixed Bag Of Results
The Cypriot League won’t start until Saturday, September 11, suggesting that Omonia won’t be as match-ready as Antwerp, who have been playing in their domestic competition since late July. Regardless, the Cyprus squad have played just as many games as the Belgians over the last month.
In July, Omonia attended three friendly matches – against Apollon (4-3), Wisla Plock (1-1), and Gornik Z. (4-3) – before playing facing Anorthosis in the Cyprus Super Cup finals. In their first competitive match of the season, Omonia won 2-1 after penalties and have since played four more.
Omonia got eliminated from Champions League qualifiers by Dinamo Zagreb (0-2, 0-1) but have since bounced back by edging past Flora in Europa League qualifications. However, it’s important to note that Omonia needed penalties to beat the Estonian squad.
For tonight’s match, Omonia will be without Marko Scepovic, Tomasz Hubocan, Eric Bautheac, and Ioannis Kousoulos. In addition, defender Jan Lecjaks is doubtful to play.
Antwerp Showings Signs of Improvement
Antwerp haven’t impressed anyone with their showings of late. They failed to win a single of their five pre-season friendlies, and they haven’t done much in the opening round of the Jupiler League either.
Across their last nine, Antwerp managed only one victory, four losses and four draws. That includes games against Utrecht (2-2), AEK Athens FC (0-2), Nordshaelland (1-1, 0-3) and Monaco (0-0).
Antwerp started their league campaign with two losses against KV Mechelen (3-2) and Kortrijk (0-1). However, they have looked much better with their 5-2 win against St. Liege and a 1-1 draw against Charleroi on Thursday, August 10.
Suffice to say, Antwerp haven’t gotten off to the start they were hoping. Despite heavy investments during the summer, which increased the team size to 35 man, The Great Old struggled to show up, but you have to give them some credit for their performances in their last two outings against St. Liege and Charleroi.
On a more positive note, Antwerp seem to be improving, which is definitely a great sign.
Omonia vs Antwerp Betting Pick
As noted, Antwerp are improving, but they’re not quite there yet. They have leaked at least one goal in all of their last four outings, and while they have shown some quality in the front against St.Liege (5-2), that performance is a big outlier in what was a relatively slow start of the season.
Talking about Antwerp’s goalscoring capabilities, they will miss Michael Fray and Viktor Fischer, who have scored seven out of Antwerp’s eight goals across their last four outings. Fray netted six goals while Fischer added one.
Regardless of their lack of success, Antwerp had to face much stronger teams than Omonia, who are not at the level of Jupiler League. At the offered odds, we have to side with the visitors to secure at least a draw.
Prediction: Antwerp +0.00 Asian Handicap – 2.02 at Betfair
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