Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Bakcell Arena will host Thursday’s Conference League qualifier between Neftci Baku and Rapid Wien, the two teams who meet for the first time in European competitions. Neftci did well to overcome a two-goal deficit in the tie with Aris (Cyprus), but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in the double-header with Rapid. Head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf is unlikely to make changes to the team that crushed Cypriotes 3-0 a week ago.
The Austrian outfit, on the other hand, eliminated Lechia Gdansk in the two-legged tie, with the team kicking off the new domestic campaign in style as well. Rapid aim to build on back-to-back wins over Ried (1-0) and Austria Klagenfurt (1-0), and given their solid defence, a low-scoring affair is on the cards at Bakcell Arena. Guido Burgstaller is widely expected to return to the starting XI after scoring the winner in Klagenfurt, while all Druijf, Petrovic, and Schuster should miss out with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Filip Stojkovic ):
Following a successful spell with Serbian giants Crvena Zvezda, Montenegro full-back Filip Stojkovic joined Rapid Wien in 2019. Stojkovic was part of the Crvena Zvezda team that defeated Liverpool in the 2018/19 Champions League campaign, and, no doubt, that is considered one of the biggest successes of his career.
The Montenegro footballer is a product of the Bukovik Razanj youth team, and, in 2006 he was spotted by Crvena Zvezda’s scouts. From 2009 to 2017 Filip played for the likes of Sopot (loan), Banat (loan), Cukaricki, and 1860 Munchen before returning to Stadion Rajko Mitic. Nowadays the pacey full-back plays for both Rapid Wien and the Montenegro national team.
He made his debut for the national team in a 1-0 loss to Turkey in 2016. Since Stojkovic is a footballer of Serbian descent, he has eight caps for the Serbia U21 team. The Rapid Wien defender wears the No. 22 shirt at the Austrian club.
Highlighted Team (Rapid Vienna):
Rapid Wien are considered the most successful club in the history of Austrian football. In 2008 the capital club won their 32th domestic title and in 1995 they clinched their 15th Austrian Cup trophy. Die Grun-Weissen were founded back in 1898 as Erster Wiener Arbeiter-Fussball-Club and one year later the club was renamed to Sportklub Rapid Wien.
In 1904 the club’s colours were changed to green and white and they have been wearing green and white shirts ever since. In 1985 Rapid made it to the Cup Winners Cup final and it has to be noted that they participated in the final competition in 1996 as well. Famous German footballer Lothar Matthaus was in charge of the team between September 2001 and May 2002, but he failed to record a good result with the Weststadion outfit.
Weststadion has been the home ground of Rapid Wien since 16 July, 2016 and you should bear in mind that the capacity of the stadium is 28 000. Rapid’s fiercest rivals are Austria Wien.