This fixture is the only important match left in Group A as Villarreal are already through as group winners and Maccabi will finish bottom and are eliminated. Both teams will hopefully field strong teams knowing that second spot is available. Slavia Prague will progress with a draw and Astana come into the game needing a win to qualify for the knockout stages.
Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:
Both clubs had never met before until round 2 of this Europa League (EL) Group Stage. The match finished 1-1 and the statistics of the match were pretty even apart from Astana had more than twice the amount of shots on goal (eight) than Slavia Prague (three).
Slavia Prague coach Jaroslav Šilhavý has stated he is ready for this fixture after their win in their last game, where they had to come back after conceding an own goal: “I am especially glad to have won three points in our last league match. I believe we have been finely tuned for the Europa League on Thursday”.
This season Slavia Prague have only lost two games in their last 13 home games (all competitions). In their 13 home fixtures a total of 32 goals have been scored, an average of 2.5 per game.
Astana’s last domestic league game of the season was at the end of October. A total of 42 goals were scored in their 16 away games, an average of 2.6 goal per game.
Viktor Katkov former vice president of Football Federation of Kazakhstan has said: “Astana has a unique chance, for the first time in the history of Kazakhstan football to enter the spring stage of European competition”.
Astana finished top of the Azerbaijan Premier League, and in doing so there is a possibility of a spot in the first qualifying round of the 2018/19 Champions League but this is yet to be confirmed by UEFA.
Slavia Prague: J. Hromada (injury), M. Mesanovic (knee injury), D. Svento (injury), S. Deli (doubtful), J. Husbauer (doubtful), R. Rotan (doubtful)
Astana: L. Kleinheisler (doubtful).