APOEL is travelling 3500 km to face off against Welsh team in the Champion’s League qualifications, quarter-finals match.
The New Saints FC:
TNS has been dominating the Welsh league for quite some time now, and for that they have been a part of European tournaments since 2001. Despite their long “tradition” in participating in European tournaments, they have not shown any outstanding performances. To be fair, we cannot expect that from a Welsh squad, who despite beating their opponents in domestic league, does not fare well against other European squads.
Looking at home performances of TNC, they have been nearly unbeatable in the domestic league, only loosing 1 match out of 16 and accumulating 35 points on Park Hall stadium. So it’s safe to say The New Saints might surprise the visiting team on their home ground.
As for the domestic league, the story is same as for TNC. In addition APOEL is the most successful team in Cyprus, winning 9 Championships, 4 cups and 6 Super Cups all in the last 15 years. This season, we could see APOEL getting another title in Championship (domestic league) with 8 points to spare, ahead of AEK Larnaca.
Looking at European competitions, APOEL is a team that is coming back to give their best each year. One of their best performances was in 2011-12 season, when APOEL reached Champions league quarter-finals, only to be sent home by Real Madrid (0:3). Now with the new coach Thomas Christiansen, APOEL hopes to go as far as possible in this competition. In addition to a new coach, APOEL also signed new players. Roberto Lago (defender), Andrea Orlandi (midfielder) and Renan Bressan (midfielder).
The problem I saw in APOEL’s performance is that, they have been playing poorly when it comes to away games. Winning only 1 out of last 5 fixtures. Thus I believe they might struggle to win in today’s match despite being an arguably better team.
Prediction: TNS +1
Odds: 1.78 Dafabet