Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Rijeka and PAOK face each other at Stadion HNK Rijeka in what is expected to be one of the most exciting games of Thursday’s program. Rijeka were on the verge of shock PAOK in Thessaloniki, but defender Niko Galesic eventually scored a late own goal to save the Greeks. It has to be noted, though, that the Eagles dominated the first leg, with the team having no fewer than 21 goal attempts.
Defender Rodrigo, who limped off with injury in the first leg, is unlikely to feature for the visitors in the decider. Rijeka head into the match following a 2-1 win over Sibenik, and seeing that the Rijecki bijeli are tough to beat at home, yet another share of spoils is on the cards. Taking everything into account, the winner of this two-legged tie should be decided after extra time.
Highlighted Player (Darko Velkovski):
Born in Skopje, Macedonia on June 22, 1995 Darko Velkovski is a professional footballer who plays for Vardar as a centre-back. Darko Velkovski started his career at the youth team of Makedonija Gjorche Petrov and in 2011 he moved to Rabotnicki.
The 188-cm tall defender scored 11 goals in 109 appearances for the Romantics before joining fellow Macedonian side Vardar in 2015. Darko Velkovski has established himself as a first-team regular at the capital club and he made 28 appearances for the Crveno-Crni in the 2016/2017 Macedonian Prva Liga campaign. Velkovski, whose contract with Vardar expires on June 30, 2018, started for the Macedonian champions in a historical 2-1 win at Fenerbahce in the 2017/2018 Europa League play-offs, return leg.
Darko Velkovski made his Macedonia debut on June 18, 2014 in a 2-0 loss to China in a friendly. His main position is centre-back, but he is capable of playing as both defensive and central midfielder 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.