Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
A highly-anticipated football game between Hearts and PAOK will bring down the curtain on Thursday’s program in the Conference League playoffs. Hearts came from behind to eliminated Rosenborg in the third qualifying round, but they face a tough challenge against the Greek Eagles. Alex Cochrane is back from the domestic ban, while both Craig Gordon and Craig Halkett remain on the sidelines with injuries.
PAOK, on the other hand, set up a meeting with Hearts by beating Hajduk Split in the double-header. Given the number of high-profile players in Razvan Lucescu’s team, we believe that punters from all around the world can find value in betting on the visiting side. It has to be noted that Douglas Augusto is no longer part of the team after signing a deal with Ligue 1 outfit Nantes. Hearts defender should have Serbia winger Andrija Zivkovic at bay as he the 27-year-old scored four goals in total in the previous two games in all competitions.
Highlighted Player (Vieirinha):
Better known as Vieirinha, Adelino Andre Vieira de Freitas originates from Guimaraes, and it was at Vitoria Guimaraes that he spent seven years before joining FC Porto academy in 2002. Despite getting promoted to the senior side in 2005, the winger was never given a chance to impress at Estadio do Dragao and following several loan spells, he opted to sign for Greek giants PAOK.
Vieirinha clearly profited from exposure to first team football, scoring 18 goals in 78 league matches for the club. His impressive displays did not go unnoticed and Wolfsburg soon came calling. Despite arriving at the club as a right winger, the Portuguese footballer was eventually converted to right-back near the end of the 2014/2015 season and has since impressed in his new position.
After representing his country at various youth levels, Vieirinha received his first call-up to the senior squad in November 2011, but he had to wait until March 2013 to be handed his debut. The experienced footballer, nonetheless, secured his place in the 2014 World Cup squad, making one appearance at the tournament finals.
Highlighted Team (Hearts):
Founded in 1874, Hearts are professional football club that compete in the Scotland Premiership. The Jam Tarts welcome their rivals at Tynecastle Park Gorgie, the stadium which can hold up to 20,000 spectators.
While the original Hearts strip was all white shirts and trousers with maroon trimmings, the club’s current home kit is all maroon with a white-collar. Hearts have won the Scottish Premier League title four times (1894/95, 1896/97, 1957/58, 1959/60), but they have been in Celtic and Rangers’ shadows in the 21st century. Hibernian are considered the club’s fiercest rivals. The two teams first met back in 1875 on Christmas Day, with Hearts winning the match 1-0. The Tynecastle Park Gorgie recorded their biggest win in 1880, with the team rolling over Anchor 21-0 in the FA Cup.
The club’s heaviest defeat came eight years later as Hearts were beaten by Vale of Leven 8-1 in the Scottish Cup. John Robertson is leading the club’s all-time goal-scoring chart, with the left winger netting 214 goals for the club.