Partizan - APOEL

Partizan came into this European campaign with a Champions League group stage as the main objective. The best players stayed in a club which is additionally strengthened with ex Bundesliga defender Krstajic and Brazilian Cleo who came from arch rivals Crvena Zvezda. In the previous round, Partizan passed Welsh part-timers Rhyl, scoring twelve goals on two games! All in the club and Serbian audience were delighted, players’ self confidence was on the highest level before the trip to Cyprus. But, they put maybe the worst performance in last few years and defeat at the end with big 0-2. Underestimating the rivals, extremely bad climate conditions, shaky defense line without mentioned Krstajic and with young Stevanovic at the position of right back, clueless midfield and cut off strikers were the main reasons that caused painful defeat. Now, they have to attack from the first whistle. Boss Jokanovic won’t change too much, young Adem Ljajic (Man.Utd. acquisition) will get his chance, while Krstajic returned to the training ground and he’s expected to appear. Stadium will be full and fans promised the hell atmosphere.

APOEL won the domain championship, leaving behind the Champions League wonder Anorthosis and Omonia. Team looks almost the same as in previous season, only big signing is striker Zewlakow, but players got the experience playing together, their displays look much more serious and they’re especially dangerous at their home, GSP Stadium. In the previous round, they had an easy job against EB/Streymur and noticed two victories, 2-0 and 3-0. Before the first game against Partizan, APOEL were considered as a slight outsider. But, they played tactically perfect game with the tight midfield and permanent pressing on the ball, with particularly good displays by Nuno Morais and Chrisis Michael who stopped the Partizan’s pass play. They were patient, waiting for their chance and got them from two set pieces. Mirosavljevic and Zewlakow were the scorers for a big advantage. Boss Jovanovic scored a tactical victory over Jokanovic and now his team is one step from the progress as one goal in Belgrade would probably finish the job. They have no problems with injured or suspended players. 

Partizan have nothing to wait. Supported from the noisy crowd, they’ll attack from the start, looking for an early goal. Visitors have a big advantage, will play more defensive and waiting for some counter attack or set pieces again, counting on possible errors in Partizan’s defense line. For me, bet on goals is a nice choice. Expekt offer 1.95. Over.


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