FC Astana vs APOEL – Europa League Preview

FC Astana vs APOEL – Europa League Preview

FC Astana vs APOEL will kick off at 17:00 CET/16:00 GMT on Thursday at the Astana Arena. Astana, who have not lost in their last 11 European home games, need to secure three points against APOEL if they want to preserve their chance to advance to the round of 32.

Astana are currently fourth in Group B of the competition with just two points out of four matches. In fact the team from Kazakhstan will be eliminated if Olympiacos wins their matchday 4 encounter at home against Young Boys Bern.

Futbolgrad predicted that the Kazakh club would finish third in Group B, as we had the feeling that both Olympiacos and the Young Boys would be too much of a challenge for the side. Instead, however, it is APOEL from Cyprus, who have dominated the group with three wins and only one loss.

The Cypriots are through to the round of 32 if they win, or with a draw if the Young Boys do not win their match against Olympiacos.


There is plenty of history between the two sides, as Astana eliminated APOEL 2-1 on aggregate in last season’s Champions League qualification playoffs last season. Then on matchday 1 APOEL managed to revenge the Champions League defeat with a 2-1 come from behind victory.

As always, however, Astana will have a major home advantage as APOEL will have to travel 3,500 km to Central Asia. At the same time this might be the best time to travel to Astana, as FC Astana claimed their third successive Kazakh Premier League title on October 26.

The Kazakh Premier League runs on the calendar year schedule from spring to fall, and as a result Astana has been without a competitive fixture since playing Olympiacos on November 3 in the Europa League. With this in mind it would not be unfeasible for APOEL to break Astana’s home dominance, and qualify for the round of 32 of the Europa League.

Players to look out for:

Nemanja Maksimović became the club’s hero when he scored the game-winning goal in last season’s Champions League playoff against APOEL. The midfielder also won the U-20 World Cup with Serbia, and the 21-year-old is considered as one of the brightest talents in the Kazakh Premier League.

FC Astana vs APOEL – Match Facts

  • Astana are unbeaten in 11 European home games (W5 D6), but have drawn both of their home group matches this term.
  • With nine points after four games, APOEL have already matched their best record in a UEFA group stage.
  • The time difference between Nicosia and Astana is four hours.
  • Astana have claimed their third successive Kazakh championship on October 26.

Futbolgrad’s Prediction: FC Astana vs APOEL 1-2

Possible Line-ups


Formation: 4-4-2

Eric – Shomko, Logvinenko, Maly, Shitov – Muzhikov, Maksimović, Beysebekov, Twumasi – Kabananga, Despotović

Manager: Stanimir Stoilov


Formation: 4-1-4-1

Waterman – Lago, Carlão, Astiz, Milanov – Morais – Efrem, Bressan, Vinicius, Gianniotas – Sotiriou

Manager: Thomas Christiansen

By Manuel Veth –