Thursday, 14 July 2016

FC Kairat Almaty vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Europa League Match Preview And Prediction - July 14, 2016

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Kairat have won 8 of their last 9 games at home in Europe, drawing the other. Maccabi have lost 13 of their last 19 away games in this competition.

Tawamba Kana and Turysbek will most likely have to settle for a place on the bench again despite scoring in their win last week against the Albanians. Andrey Arshavin and Ivorian striker Gohou will provide their main attacking threat.

Maccabi are likely to stick with the players that performed well in the last round. Veteran midfielder Yossi Benayoun could keep his place having scored the only goal in the 2nd leg last week.

This is perhaps one of the strongest match-ups in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Europa League between two sides who performed pretty well in Europe last season and are strong sides in their own leagues.

Kairat made the play-off round of the Europa League following 3 victories in games they perhaps weren’t expected to win. They beat Red Star Belgrade, Alashkert and Aberdeen and were only defeated on away goals by Bordeaux in the final hurdle before the group stage. Kazakh sides tend to do very well at home in Europe and that is certainly true of Kairat who have won all 4 home matches in this competition last season and hammered Teuta Durrës 5-0 at home in the 1st Qualifying Round this term.

They are also in the middle of their season and come into this match in fine form, unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions, 13 of which have been victories. They are currently 2nd in the Kazakh top flight.

Maccabi Tel Aviv meanwhile made the group stage of the Champions League last term so they will be hoping to at least reach the groups in Europe’s secondary club competition this term. They finished 2nd to Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel last year but only just and they were too good for Gorica in the 1st Qualifying Round of this competition progressing 4-0 on aggregate.

So this should be a very competitive tie and home advantage is likely to be crucial. Certainly if Kairat are going to progress they will need to make use of home advantage at the Ortalıq Stadion here. They are just so strong at home both in Kazakhstan and in Europe that you have to fancy them to get the win. They’ve won 23 of their last 27 home games in all competitions and you can back Kairat to win at 23/20 here.

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