Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
PAOK will look to overcome a two-goal deficit in the tie with Levski Sofia when the two teams face each other in Thessaloniki on Thursday. The Eagles failed to impress in the first leg, but they are still seen as favourites to beat the Bulgarians at Toumba Stadium. PAOK boss Mircea Lucescu has a number of high-profile players to choose from, but the Greeks will have to prove their worth on the field.
Teenage forward Georgios Koutsias is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts, while the opposition back-line should have pacey winger Andrija Zivkovic at bay as well. Levski Sofia, on the other hand, are likely to adopt a defence-minded approach in the return leg as they head into the match with a two-goal advantage. Anyhow, home win should be considered as PAOK have turned their Tomba Stadium into a real fortress.
Highlighted Player (Jasmin Kurtic):
Jasmin Kurtic is a Slovenian player who started his senior career at Bela Krajina. The midfielder scored seven goals in 74 league appearances for the club, but at the end of the 2009/2010 season he moved to Gorica. After playing just 15 matches for the Slovenian outfit in the 2010/2011 campaign he moved to Palermo, where he gained a lot of experience.
Kurtic spent the 2011/2012 season on loan to Varese and he played an important role in the team, making 42 league appearances. In June, 2013 he signed a permanent deal with Sassuolo, but three months later he was sent on loan to Fiorentina. On 25 June, 2015, the Slovenian footballer joined Atalanta.
Jasmin Kurtic has 2 caps for Slovenia U21 and he made his debut for the senior team on 26 May, 2012. He scored a goal from the set piece against Greece back then. His contract with Atalanta expires on 30 June, 2019.
Highlighted Team (PAOK):
PAOK are regarded as one of the most famous clubs in Greece. The club’s biggest rivals are Olympiakos, but they have a great rivalry with local rivals Aris as well. The Double-headed eagle play their home games at Toumba Stadion Thessaloniki and the capacity of the venue is 28 803.
PAOK are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but they often struggle when playing on the travels. The club won their first Greek Superleague title in 1976 and nine years later their clinched their second domestic trophy, finishing the season three points clear of Panathinaikos.
Speaking of the club’s European success, the Black and Whites made it to the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1973/1974 season, but they were outplayed by Italian giants Milan in the two-legged tie. PAOK were founded on 20 April, 1926 and they play their home games in black and white shirts and black shorts. The club’s away colours are white.