Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Villarreal will be looking to kick off their Conference League campaign in great manner when they welcome Hajduk Split to their La Ceramica Stadium on Thursday. The Yellow Submarine are seen as one of the main favourites to win the trophy, but the Croatian outfit should not be underestimated. All Alberto Moreno, Manu Trigueros, and Kiko Femenia should miss out through injuries for the home team, while talented attacker Nicolas Jackson is likely to keep his place in the starting XI after opening his goal-scoring account in a 3-0 win over Valladolid.
Hajduk, on the other hand, must be low on spirits following a heavy 4-1 loss to their bitter rivals Dinamo Zagreb, which is one of the main reasons why home win should be considered. A man to keep an eye on in the away team will be Marko Livaja, who played for the likes of AEK, Atalanta, and Inter in the past.
Highlighted Player (Aissa Mandi):
Aissa Mandi is a product of Reims’ youth school. After playing eight matches for Reims II in the 2009/2010 season, he started playing for the first team in 2010. Mandi made his Reims debut against Le Havre on 20 August, 2010 and he remained at Stade Auguste Delaune until 30 June, 2016, when he decided to join Spanish side Real Betis.
The Algeria international, who was born in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, signed a five-year contract with los Beticos which expires on 30 June, 2021. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back as well. The right-footed defender made his Algeria debut on 5 March, 2014 and he helped the Algerian national team keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Slovenia.
Mandi impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but he scored his first goal for Algeria in a 3-3 draw with Ethiopia in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. He represented Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well.