Monday, 18 July 2016

Apoel Nicosia vs The New Saints Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 20, 2016


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Apoel Nicosia won the Cypriot First Division championship round to qualify themselves for the Champions League second qualifying round. Though Apoel Nicosia are regular competitors in the qualifying stages of European competitions, they have only got through to the knockout stages once before in the 2011/2012 season, where they made it through to the quarter finals before being knocked out 8-2 on aggregate to Spanish giants Real Madrid – their greatest European success to date. Apoel Nicosia are almost unstoppable domestically, as long as they haven’t already got the title wrapped up, and The New Saints have to realise that the hosts haven’t been knocked out of this stage of the competition since the 2004/05 season.

The New Saints saw off the challenge of Tre Penne earlier this month to qualify through to their 5th consecutive Champions League 2nd qualifying round, but each of the last four years has seen them eliminated at this stage. While The New Saints come into this match with a potential away goal advantage from a “score draw” after drawing 0-0 at home in the first leg, this result doesn’t reflect the dominance that Apoel Nicosia had on the game. The New Saints registered just 1 shot on target and 28% possesion over the 90 minute period.

Apoel Nicosia have a lot of experience in this competition and know that the home field advantage is going to help them. The New Saints won’t go down without a fight, however, and may park the bus to try to take a 0-0 draw through to penalties. Apoel Nicosia will have the upper hand but such a defensive showing from The New Saints could result in few goals. Combining this analysis with the statistics below, we expect under 2.5 goals to be the safe bet for this match and a result of Apoel Nicosia to win 2-0 at 4/1 to be a top value correct score bet for this match.

The New Sainst played out a 0-0 draw at home to APOEL in the first leg in the only match where the two sides have previously met.

The New Saints have scored at least 1 goal in 4 of their last 5 matches. Both teams have scored in 4 of APOEL's last 5 matches.

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