Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
All eyes will be on Toumba Stadium when PAOK and Rijeka square off against each other in the Conference League play-offs, first leg. The Black and Whites did well to overcome a one-goal deficit in the tie against Bohemians, but they do not want to stop now. PAOK are a real force to be reckoned with at home, and, it is no wonder the bookies see them as favourites to win the first leg.
Japan international Shinji Kagawa has lost his place in the starting XI, but both Biseswar and Zivkovic are likely to make life difficult for the opposition defenders. Rijeka, on the other hand, set up a meeting with PAOK by beating Hibernian in the double-header. The Croats aim to give fans yet another reason for celebration, but seeing that the Greek Eagles have turned their stadium into a real fortress, the visitors are unlikely to grab something from Thursday’s clash. Nino Galovic is likely to return to Rijeka’s starting XI.
Highlighted Player (Omar El Kaddouri):
Omar El Kaddouri is a Moroccan footballer born in Brussels, Belgium on August 21, 1990. El Kaddouri was an Anderlecht player at the start of his senior career, but he did not see any game action for the Belgian side in the Jupiler League.
The 187-cm tall midfielder played for Brescia, Suditrol, Napoli, Torino and Empoli before signing a four-year deal with PAOK on August 24, 2017. The Morocco international won the Greek Cup with the black and whites, with the team beating AEK Athens in the title game. Omar El Kaddouri scored his first goal for the Greek side in a 3-1 victory over Panionios in April, 2018.
On the other hand, the PAOK midfielder made his Morocco debut in August, 2014 in a friendly against Burkina Faso. He opened his goal-scoring account with the Morocco national team on May 23, 2014 in a 4-0 victory over Mozambique. His main position is attacking midfielder, but he is capable of playing as a winger as well.
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.