APOEL Nicosia vs Copenhagen
Champions League Play-off. Date: Wednesday, 24 August 2016, Kick-Off: 19:45 UK, Venue: GSP Stadium (Nicosia).
APOEL look to overturn a one-goal deficit when they host FC Copenhagen for the second leg of the Champions League play-off on Wednesday evening.
Andrija Pavlovic scored the all important goal for FC Copenhagen in the closing stages of the first half to give his side slender advantage going into the decider in Cyprus. The Danish side would have loved to win the first leg clash at their home ground by a bigger margin because Neo GSP is not a ground for visiting sides to come out with a clean sheet. Moreover, APOEL haven’t won their previous two away two matches in the qualifiers. They came this far by strong results at their home ground.
APOEL Nicosia lost 2-1 to Norwegian side Rosenborg in the first leg of third round of qualifiers, but overturned the deficit with a 3-0 win at home. They also drawn 0-0 against The New Saints in the second round, and won 3-0 at home.
Copenhagen are unbeaten in this year’s Champions League qualifiers which started from the second round. They have scored a massive 14 goals and conceded just once. They won in 4 matches while drawn 1-1 in the away fixture at Astana.
APOEL Nicosia vs Copenhagen: Head-to-Head Stats
APOEL Nicosia defeated FC Copenhagen in the play-offs of 2009/10 UEFA Champions League under very similar circumstances. The Danes came with 1-0 lead from the first leg to Nicosia only to lose 3-1 in a thrilling encounter.
However, APOEL’s overall record against Danish oppositions on 9 occasions is 3 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses. And their record at home from 4 matches is 2 wins and 2 losses.
While Copenhagen haven’t met any other Cypriot oppositions in a UEFA competition.
APOEL Nicosia vs Copenhagen: Prediction
APOEL won their last two qualifiers at home by a 3-0 margin and they needed a win to progress on each occasion. While Copenhagen lost on aggregate on the previous occasion when they were drawn against APOEL in the Champions League qualifiers. But this time, the Danish Champions are a different proposition all together. They were extremely disciplined in the home leg and their defense proved too strong for the Cypriots to break down. And coming here to defend a slender lead, they will adopt a similar approach.
APOEL needing a win is likely to push more players into the attack which could give the opposition a chance to hit on the counter. The hosts might win this, but they could fell short on qualification. Both teams have a strong attack and there is a good chance for both teams to get on the score-sheet here. I will also go by a 2-1 win in favour of APOEL, which eventually result in Copenhagen to get to the Champions League group stages.