Our football match prediction:
Stadio Toumbas will host Thursday’s football match between PAOK and Schalke. Both sides have been in a fine form of late, meaning that a lively contest appears on the horizon. The Greek outfit seem to be on top of their game ahead of the visit of Schalke, but beating the German team in the Europa League last 32, first leg is easier said than done. Anyhow, it has to be noted that Vladimir Ivic’s men scored six goals in previous two home fixtures in the national championship. Die Knappen, on the other hand, recorded five wins in the Europa League group stages and they have been producing scintillating displays in Bundesliga of late. Anyhow, seeing that Stadio Toumbas will host the first leg, we predict that the two teams will share the spoils in Thursday’s clash. Leon Goretzka found the net in a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin at the weekend and he will be the man to watch in the away team.
Highlighted Player (Andriy Konoplyanka):
Arguably the most talented footballer to have worn the Ukraine jersey since Andriy Shevchenko, Yevhen Konoplyanka is a creative midfielder who can play on either wing as well as through the middle. The talented footballer started attracting interest from abroad soon after coming through the youth ranks at Dnipro, but he resisted temptation to join a top European club and waited for his contract to expire before signing a four-year deal with Europa League holders Sevilla. As expected, Konplyanka quickly proved his worth at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, scoring important goals in La Liga and Europe during his debut season. Together with Andriy Yarmolenko, he has formed one of the best wing partnerships in international football, scoring 11 goals in his first 50 appearances for the national team. After starting all three games at the Euro 2012 on home soil, Konoplyanka helped Zbirna qualify for the Euro 2016 finals, netting two times in eleven qualifiers as Ukraine defeated Slovenia in the play-offs.
Highlighted Team (Schalke 04):
Schalke 04 are a professional football club founded in 1904. Die Knappen (The Miners) compete in German Bundesliga and they have won seven domestic titles. Schalke have clinched five German Cup trophies as well, while lifting the UEFA Cup title in 1997. The German club defeated Italian side Inter on penalties in the title game and that was the last time the final of the competition was played in a two-legged format. Schalke 04 play their home matches at Veltins-Arena, the stadium that has been the home of the team since 2001. The capacity of Veltins-Arena is 62,271. It is well known that Borussia Dortmund are Schalke’s main rivals and the Ruhy neighbours face each other in the Revierderby. The likes of Klaus Fichtel (477), Norbert Nigbur (355), Rolf Russmann (304), Klaus Fischer (295), Olaf Thon (295) and Herbert Lutkebohmert (286) are the players with most appearances for die Knappen. The colour of Schalke’s home kit is blue.