Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Rosenborg vs Apoel Nicosia Champions League Match Preview And Prediction - July 28, 2016

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Rosenborg enjoyed a really good spell in Europe back in the opening stages of the millennium, but they have declined since then and have struggled in the Champions League recently.

A decline in league form in the past few years means that they have failed to qualify for the Champions League at all since the 2011/12 season, and although they have made it to the group stages in the Europa League in two of their three seasons in it since then they haven’t participated in the knockout stages of any European competition since the 2007/08 season.

Rosenborg’s triumph in the Norway Eliteserien last season saw them return to Europe’s elite competition though. They ended up winning the league by an impressive 12 point margin and they began their return with a thrilling 6-3 win over Norrkoping on aggregate. It could have been a larger margin of victory too, but they conceded two goals due to lack of concentration when they were 6-1 up on aggregate.

With the Norwegian domestic season already in full flow they aren’t lacking in match fitness either and once again they look set to win the league. They currently sit six points clear of Odd in 2nd place after 17 matches.

APOEL’s domestic season doesn’t start until the middle of August, but they did manage to get some match fitness with a 3-0 aggregate win over The New Saints in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Now they will look towards replicating the continental form that saw them make it all the way to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League in 2011/12.

Since then they have made it to the Champions League group stages once and the Europa League group stages twice, but haven’t managed to progress any further than that.

Away from home APOEL do struggle in Europe though. They have only won one of their last 16 away days in the Champions League, whilst Rosenborg have won five of their last six at home. The hosts have also scored freely on home turf, netting 15 goals in these six games and seeing at least three goals scored in five of their last seven.

Rosenborg have also seen more than two goals scored in every one of their last ten matches at home, which makes odds of 43/40 for Over 2.5 Goals look very good value for money. That’s what I’m backing for my main prediction, and I’m going for a 3-1 win for Rosenborg for my correct score prediction at 14/1.

This will be the first ever meeting between Rosenborg and APOEL.

Rosenborg have seen Over 2.5 Goals in 100% of their last ten home games and 71% of their last seven at home in the Champions League.

Rosenborg are expected to have a fully fit squad on Wednesday.

APOEL aren't known to have any injury concerns heading into this crucial match.

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