PAOK vs Club Brugge

A place in the Europa Conference League semi-finals is up for grabs as PAOK and Club Brugge go head-to-head in the return leg of their quarter-final tie at Toumba Stadium, with the visitors 1-0 up.

Despite slumping to a narrow loss in Belgium, PAOK will not relinquish their hopes of advancing into the semi-finals, especially after overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit with a thumping 5-1 second-leg home win against Dinamo Zagreb in the round of 16. Manager Razvan Lucescu has fond memories of his last Europa Conference League tie against Belgian opposition as PAOK manager, overseeing a 1-0 home win against Gent, which saw his side reach the quarter-finals in 2021/22. PAOK’s formidable home run in European football will add to the home side’s confidence as they’ve won five of their last six such fixtures (D1), netting an intimidating 20 goals in this sequence.

On the other hand, Club Brugge’s experimental line-up put Royal Antwerp to the sword at the weekend, with an overwhelming 3-0 home win keeping them in the Jupiler Pro League top three while extending their winning run in all competitions to three matches. Interim manager Nicky Hayen drew his only away game in charge thus far, with Cercle Brugge holding his side to a 1-1 stalemate on his touchline debut. That result forms part of Club Brugge’s underwhelming run of just one win from their last seven competitive outings on the road (D2, L4). Despite losing the first leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie at Molde, the visitors can find comfort in winning all three away matches in this season’s group stages.

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