Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
There will be fireworks when Vitoria Guimaraes and Hajduk Split take on each other in the second leg of the Conference League third qualifying round at Estadio D. Afonso Henriques. Guimaraes need to overcome a two-goal deficit in front of home fans, and they have no other choice but to fight tooth and nail in Thursday’s clash. Both Semedo and Salgueiro were sent off in a 1-0 win over Chaves at the weekend, but the duo is available for selection speaking of the Conference League game.
All Fernandes, Gaspar, and Handel are sidelined with injuries for the away team. Hajduk Split, on the other hand, proved their worth in the first leg, with the team moving one step closer to booking their place in the playoffs. The Croats look sharp in front of goal, and given Vitoria’s attacking potential, both teams to score betting option should be considered. Summer signing Chidozie Awaziem is pushing for his first start with Hajduk Split.
Highlighted Player (Rafa Soares):
Born in Marco de Canaveses, Portugal, Rafa Soares is a professional footballer who plays for Vitoria Guimaraes as a left-back. Rafa is a product of the Porto football academy, but he did not see any game action in Primeira Liga with the Dragons.
After scoring eight goals in 61 appearances with Porto B, the Portuguese defender spent a couple of seasons on loan at Academica, Rio Ave, and Fulham. In 2018 he played for Portimonense, but nowadays, he wears the number 5 shirt at Vitoria Guimaraes. Rafa Soares has nine caps with the Portugal U21 team, but he has yet to earn a call-up for the Portugal senior team.
His primary position is left-back, but he is used as both left midfielder and left winger as well. Rafa’s preferred foot is left, and he has a contract with Vitoria Guimaraes until June 2021. Rafa Soares made his Primeira Liga debut against Academica back in January 2016, during his spell with Vitoria Setubal.
Highlighted Team (Guimaraes):
Vitoria Guimaraes have always been in the shadow of famous Portuguese sides Porto, Benfica and Sporting, but over the years they have established themselves as a top-table side in the Primeira Liga. Os Vimaranenses did well to win Taca de Portugal in the 2012/2013 season, wi the team beating Benfica in the final of the domestic cup.
Vitoria Guimaraes finished the 2016/2017 Primeira Liga campaign in fourth place in the standings and, as a result, they booked their place in the Europa League qualifiers. The Portuguese side will face the likes of Salzburg, Konyaspor and Olympic Marseille in Group I and they are seen as underdogs in their group. Vitoria Guimaraes welcome their rivals at Estadio D. Alfonso Henriques and the venue can hold up to 30.000 spectators.
Os Vimaranenses play their home games in white shirts and white shorts, whilst they wear black when playing on the road. Their neighbours Braga are considered Guimaraes’ fiercest rivals and the two teams face each other in the derby of Minho Province.