Apollon – Maccabi Haifa Predictions
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Apollon 2-0 Maccabi Haifa
Date: 09.08.2022 | Match at: 17:00 | League: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – QUALIFICATION – SEMI-FINALS | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.35 | Bookie: Unibet.
Apollon – Maccabi Haifa Match Preview
- After topping the Cypriot First Division last season, Apollon are aiming to make history by reaching the UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stages for the first time. However, a 4-0 defeat to opponents Maccabi Haifa in the first leg of their UCL third round qualifier last week has all but vanquished those hopes.
- That thrashing marked a successive defeat ‘to nil’ and was hardly an ideal return to competitive action with the Cypriot Super Cup final to come on Friday. Considering Apollon need a landslide goal swing here, it’s not the best time for a goal drought, but it looks as though Apollon will drop into the UEFA Europa League play-off round given the last time they won by four clear goals was back in 2020 (4-0 v Ermis).
- Maccabi Haifa earned their shot at UCL qualification through their second successive Israeli Premier League title win last season. Barak Bakhar’s men are flying in their bid to dine at the top table of European football, having now strung together consecutive 4-0 victories on a qualification run that also saw them expel 47-time Greek champions Olympiakos.
- Maccabi suffered UCL heartbreak last season after exiting at the first qualifying round with a 2-0 loss to Kairat – the closest they had come since 2011. However, this appears to be a new dawn for the Israelis and their recent defensive record will worry an Apollon side desperate for goals, with Maccabi conceding more than one goal only once in their last seven away trips (W4, D1, L2)!
- Key battle: Apollon goalkeeper Aleksandar Jovanović will want to keep his side alive for as long as possible here, but has failed to keep a clean sheet in his previous nine outings. He’ll face Maccabi forward Frantzdy Pierrot who has three goals from his last three UCL qualification outings – including one in the reverse fixture – with all three strikes coming after the 60th minute.
- Hot streak: Apollon have gone eight successive home games without a clean sheet.