FC Astana take on the visitors Sporting at “Astana Arena” in the first-leg fight of the 1/16 final stage of the UEFA Europa League. The game will be played in Astana on Thursday, February 15th.
FC Astana have burst into European football. Last season the club participated in the UEFA Champions League. As for this season’s UEFA Europa League, “The Blue and Yellows” occupied the second place in Group A table which had been also formed by Villarreal, Slavia Prague and Maccabi Tel Aviv. The team has managed to pick up 10 points in six encounters played, having lost two matches. FC Astana looked quite confident in attack, having scored 10 goals while its defense feels a bit uncomfortable with seven goals conceded. In the previous clashes conducted at “Astana Arena” the club has beaten FK Akzhayik 2:0, failed 0:2 against Kairat Almaty and thrashed Okzhetpes 4:0.
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Meanwhile, Sporting demonstrate remarkably strong performance in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, keep on fighting for the trophy. However, “Leoes” left this season’s UEFA Champions League, having settled on the third position in one group with Barcelona, Juventus and Olympiakos Piraeus. The team has gained seven points and two triumphs in six battles played within Group D. The team’s offense didn’t impress with eight scored goals as well as its defense which has conceded nine goals. In the latest away clashes Sporting have been broken by FC Porto 0:1 and Estoril 0:2, but upset Setubal 2:1.
FC Astana show excellent football in front of their supporters in the Eurocups as the fans propel their players in attack, however, Sporting perform on the higher level. Still, “The Blue and Yellows” are not likely to lose as “Leoes” cannot boast with their best shape at the moment.
Prediction for the match: FC Astana to win with +0.5 Asian handicap (1X).