Pyunik vs Maccabi Tel Aviv
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 7 August 2018
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
To many, maybe most, reaching the third qualifying round of the Europa League must not look like a big deal, but… tell that to Pyunik, a very modest Armenian side that managed to be “here”, after eliminating Vardar Skopje, and, a week ago, Tobol, from Kazakhstan. They lost 2-1 away in the first leg, but beat their opponents 1-0 in Yerevan last week, celebrating a… truly historic, for them, success. They have been playing in the Europa League qualifiers practically every summer since 2012, once they had managed to eliminate an opponent, Teteks, in 2013, but this is the first time they managed to reach the third qualifying round, eliminating two teams in a row. They were scheduled to host Gandzasar on Sunday, but their game got postponed, so that they had more time and peace of mind to get ready for this huge match against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Just like Pyunik, Maccabi had to eliminate two opponents to be “here”, but they were definitely stronger than the teams the Armenians had to face. In the first round, 31-year-old winger Eliran Atar scored in added time, in Budapest, against Ferencváros, to earn Maccabi a 1-1 draw, and a week later he scored again, in Israel, to secure his team a 1-0 win and the qualification. Against Radnički Niš from Serbia, in the second round, it was Icelander center-forward Vidar Örn Kjartansson who… took over, scoring both their goals in their 2-0 home win. Atar “returned” to scoring in the second leg, making it 0-2 for Maccabi. They conceded twice after that, they ended up drawing 2-2, but they never really got threatened.
Previous five matches:
Pyunik vs Tobol 1-0
Tobol vs Pyunik 2-1
Vardar vs Pyunik 0-2
Pyunik vs Vardar 1-0
Nizhny Novgorod vs Pyunik 1-1
Radnički Niš vs Maccabi Tel Aviv 2-2
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Beitar Jerusalem 1-0
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Radnički Niš 2-0
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Ferencváros 1-0
Ferencváros vs Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-1
Pyunik’s next game is on Sunday, versus Alashkert (Armenia championship). Maccabi’s next match is the return leg against the Armenian side, next week, in Tel Aviv.
Pyunik vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Head to head Stats
This is the first game ever between these two.
Pyunik vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Prediction
On paper, Maccabi have a much-much stronger roster. Plus, in the two previous rounds, they eliminated stronger teams that those that Pyunik eliminated. They are playing in Yerevan, but Maccabi stayed undefeated in Budapest and Niš earlier this summer, so they can definitely leave Armenia as well undefeated.
Pyunik vs Maccabi Tel Aviv: Betting Tips
I have no doubt Pyunik will look super enthusiastic, but I feel the difference in quality between the two is clear, and Maccabi should win, even by just one goal. Their victory is at 1.80. For more than that, I would risk with their win combined with a clean sheet (2.75). “Maccabi to keep a clean sheet” alone is at 2.20.