Anderlecht played five games in August and won them all while conceding a single goal. It is quite a performance for the Belgian side, especially with two of the victories being earned in the Champions League qualifiers. Anderlecht thrashed Ekranas and scored 11 goals without surrendering one, something that is particularly troubling for the inexperienced AEL Limassol.
Match: AEL Limassol vs Anderlecht
Odds: Pinnacle 2.26
The Cypriot team won the domestic league at the expense of APOEL and tries to replicate their success in the Champions League. It is going to be difficult to advance to the group stage, because they lack both the experience and the quality in their squad to outshine Anderlecht. Due to their poor UEFA coefficient, Cypriot champions have to get through two qualifying rounds before competing in the playoffs, but AEL enjoyed a smooth passage. They’ve sent home Linfield and Partisan without allowing a goal, and will try to become the first team from Cyprus to qualify at the expense of Anderlecht.
Keeping a clean sheet is a bridge too far
AEL needs to extend its scoreless streak and deny the visitors the chance of scoring in Limassol, but this is easier said than done. Anderlecht will come out firing just as they did in Lithuania against Ekranas and they won’t be intimidated by the fact that they lack home field advantage. Speaking of which, this is something that AEL will miss as well because it looks like success surprised everyone in Cyprus. Their stadium is not suitable for such a match so the game will be played in Strovolos instead of Limassol.
Most of the victories secured by AEL lately came against teams that started as underdogs and the only serious opponent they’ve faced gave them quite a headache. Omonia Nicosia might lack positive results at a continental scale but they’ve defeated AEL in every single competition where these two teams met. In July and August alone, Limassol lost three games in the First Division, Cup and SuperCup.
The bottom line is that AEL plays as well as its opponents allows it to play and tonight it will be the one reacting to Anderlecht’s move and not the other way around. The Belgian team knows that scoring away from home is a must and have players such as Mbokani, Kanu and Jovanovic to deliver. Pinnacle accurately estimates that the visitors are favorite to win and at odds of 2.26, punters should follow.