Suduva take on the visitors APOEL at “ARVI futbolo arena” in the first-leg clash of the 1/8 qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League. The match will be played in Marijampole on Wednesday, July 11th.
Suduva are very lucky team. Last season the Lithuanians performed at the qualification stage for the UEFA Europa League, having passed over Shakhtyor Soligorsk 0:0, 2:1, FK Liepaja 2:0, 0:1 and Sion 3:0, 1:1. The club was knocked out from the Eurocup by Ludogorets by the aggregated outcome of the 0:2, 0:0 scorelines, having showed that it has no winner’s set of mind, namely, the side has enough strong offense, but was afraid to attack. Nevertheless, appearance in the last round of the qualification for the Eurocup group stage is considered to be an achievement for the Lithuanian team which, moreover, conceded just five goals in eight battles. As for the Lithuanian A Lyga, Suduva conceded only five goals in 10 home tackles.
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Meanwhile, APOEL have taken another champion’s title of the Cyprus First Division with a humble four-point handicap over the closest chaser. The club gets used to collect the trophies of the domestic competitions, but it will never get tired of the UEFA Champions League. The previous season was quite successful for the upcoming visitors as they played at the group stage of the UEFA Champions League as well as won the gold medals of the Cyprus elite division, however, “Τhrylos” lost the Cyprus Cup and didn’t look such unbeatable in general as it used to be. Unlike the domestic championship where the team has scored 92 goals in 36 encounters conducted, in the Eurocups the side gives precedence to a successful result rather than to a spectacular performance. And only five scored goals in six tackles of the group stage as well as only one scored goal in three away fights are good proof of the mentioned above.
Lithuanian A Lyga has not stopped to the very last time, however, now Suduva have a month to take some rest and convert their opportunities in the Eurocups which helped the side to succeed in the previous season. Still, I do not believe that a sensation will happen in this pair as APOEL have a reverse fixture to solve the issues although Suduva will not give up easily in face of their fans.
Prediction for the match: APOEL to score under 1.5 scored goals.