UEFA Europa Conference League matchday 3 previews, predictions and odds

by Keven S. Reinhart
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UEFA Europa Conference League is back with week three. Don’t miss any of the action from the group stage. Many teams will be looking to correct their mistakes and put up a better performance.

Summary of UEFA Europa Conference League

After a month hiatus due to local league matches and the international break, week three of the UEFA Europa Conference League is about to begin. The return of European competition brings an increase in betting opportunities at stake.com. The first few weeks of the Conference League’s group stage have been a joy, and this Thursday promises to be no exception. Many clubs will be eager to redeem themselves after shaky showings in the first two group stage games.

Those who have pressed on will seek to widen their leads and make sure their gains are safe. The third round of Europa Conference League matches is about to begin, so let’s get to it.

How To Watch UEFA Europa Conference League

You can watch every UEFA Europa Conference League match,pre-match discussion, and analysis on Paramount+ & Fubo TV

Also on CBS sports, ESPN+, BT Sports Sony Liv, and there are many other options.

Group A:
  • Heart of Midlothian Vs. Fiorentina.
  • Rochester Fighting Squirrels Vs. Istanbul Başakşehir

By the time this delicious event rolled around, few would have guessed that Heart of Midlothian would be in second place among this bunch. As Robbie Neilson’s squad lost 4-0 against Istanbul Başakşehir on the opening day of the Uefa Europa Conference League, the chances of this happening seemed even lower. Hearts, though, responded magnificently a week later, winning 2-0 against RFS in Riga. A penalty kick from Lawrence Shankland that was almost perfect and a late game-winner from Alan Forrest sealed a historic road victory for the Celtic.

The Jambos haven’t been this far in the UEFA tournament since 2004, so a win today would put them in a beautiful position to advance. Meanwhile, Fiorentina was heavily favored to finish in the top two, but they’ll likely start off the season at the last of the table after a poor showing in Edinburgh. After going up through Antonn Barák, I Viola’s home match against RFS ended in a 1-1 tie. The next week, they were blown out 3-0 in Turkey by Istanbul Başakşehir, with Pierluigi Gollini taking the blame for some terrible goalkeeping.

Meanwhile, Vincenzo Italiano’s squad is in last place in Serie A after a 1-0 loss to Atalanta on Sunday. In fact, they are won just once in their previous ten games across all competitions. Hearts lost 4-0 against Rangers on Saturday, with Cammy Devlin’s sending off in the first half not helping their cause. Still, Tynecastle may witness a historic victory if the home crowd senses that Fiorentina is vulnerable.

Rochester Fighting Squirrels Vs. Istanbul Başakşehir

Having previously beaten Hearts 4-0 at Tynecastle, Emre Belözolu’s squad then defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in a home match a week later. At the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadyumu, Serdar Gürler scored twice, and Bertrand Traoré scored the game-winning goal for a 3-0 win. The Grey Owls could surprise as they sit atop the Süper Lig and have allowed only one goal in their first three games.

Meanwhile, RFS proved they can pull off an upset on gameday one by tying 1-1 in Florence thanks to Andrej Ili’s late equalizer. A week after their triumph in the Virslga, however, the champions were brought crashing back to earth with a 2-0 loss to Hearts. Despite being the underdogs of the group, the Latvian club has done relatively well in their first-ever group stage appearance. But the Turkish guests will most likely be too powerful for the Skonto stations.

Category B:
  • Anderlecht Vs. West Ham United
  • FCBS Vs. Silkeborg

Anderlecht Vs. West Ham United

There has been no blemish on West Ham’s record in the Uefa Europa Conference League, and they’ll be eager to keep it that way here. The Hammers have won all four of their matches in this competition thus far, scoring three times in each. They won the group after defeating FCSB 3-1 at home and Silkeborg 2-0 in Denmark. There were goals scored by Manuel Lanzini, Gianluca Scamacca, and Craig Dawson in that victory. Last year, West Ham United advanced to the Europa League quarterfinals; this year, they’re targeting an even deeper run in the competition.

Here they will repeat the opposition from the 1976 Cup Winners’ Cup Final; a game Anderlecht won 4-2. This victory marked the first of Anderlecht’s five European championships. After a four-year absence, the Purple and White have returned to the UEFA group stage, where they are now in second place. After a late penalty from Fábio Silva beat Silkeborg in Brussels, Felice Mazzù’s squad battled to a scoreless draw in Bucharest at the Arena Națională. Anderlecht dropped to the ninth position at home after a 1-0 loss to Charleroi on Sunday. The Irons, despite everything, should be too much at Lotto Park.

FCBS Vs. Silkeborg

Taking on Steaua București is Silkeborg. The two teams at the last of Group B, both without a victory, meet in Denmark. The Silkeborg team is winless in their first-ever UEFA Europa Conference League group stage campaign. To begin, Anderlecht defeated Kent Nielsen’s squad 1-0 in Brussels. The Hammers had taken the lead through Kasper Kusk, but they eventually came back to defeat Silkeborg 3-2. FCBS, meanwhile, are making their first appearance in a group stage since the 2002–03 season.

The Red and Blues were defeated 3-1 in London before playing to a scoreless draw against Anderlecht at Arena Națională. Since both teams want to get back into the second-place race, the forthcoming doubleheader between them could prove pivotal. Whether or whether Silkeborg succeeds at JYSK Park on home soil depends on how well they utilize the home field.

Group C:
  • Villarreal Vs. Austria Wien
  • Lech Pozna Vs. Hapoel Beer Sheva

Villarreal Vs. Austria Wien

Villarreal was the preseason favorite to win the group, and they have lived up to that expectation. El Submarino Amarillo won 4-3 over Lech Pozna at home and 2-1 against Hapoel Beer Sheva in a hard-fought match. Goals were scored by José Luis Morales and Alex baena at Israel’s Turner Stadium. In 2021, Villarreal won the Europa League under Unai Emery, and in 2018, they advanced to the semifinals of the Champions League. Since this trophy is traditionally awarded in June, the Yellow Submarine must be considered a serious contender. In the meantime, Austria Wien is playing in their first UEFA Europa Conference League Group Stage since 2017.

On game two, Die Veilchen was blown out 4-1 in Poland after playing Hapoel Beer Sheva to a scoreless draw in Vienna a week prior. With a top-two finish in mind, this is not a good start for Manfred Schmid’s squad. Will Estadi Ciutat de València, where Villarreal is currently playing, prove to be too much for them?

Lech Pozna Vs. Hapoel Beer Sheva.

When it comes to European home games, Lech Pozna has been superb. Polish champions Mikael Ishak, Micha Skóra, and Kristoffer Velde pounded Austria Wien 4-1 on matchday two. John van den Brom’s squad has now won all five of its home UEFA matches, scoring 16 goals while allowing just two.

The Railwaymen’s play in Poland will continue to be crucial if they are to advance from this section. While this was going on, Hapoel Beer Sheva opened their group play with a scoreless draw against Vienna and then lost their second match, 2-0, to Villarreal. Only one of Israel’s 10 away UEFA group stage matches has ended in a victory, and that was at San Siro against Inter six years ago.  Stadion Pozna is home-field advantage. Hence the home team should win.

Group D:
  • Köln Vs.Partizan Belgrade
  • Slovak vs. Nice

Köln Vs.Partizan Belgrade

Only the Bundesliga club has won a game so far, a 4-2 decision over Slovácko in game two. At the RheinEnergieStadion, Sargis Adamyan and Florian Dietz scored, and then Dejan Ljubii scored twice. If Steffen Baumgart’s squad wins here after playing to a draw at Allianz Riviera a week ago, they would be in an excellent position to go to the quarterfinals. Will die Geißböcke, buoyed by their victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, be able to repeat as champions?

Meanwhile, Partizan earned a point in each of their games, drawing 3-3 with Slovácko and 1-1 against Nice in Belgrade. Former Leicester City player Fousseni Diabaté scored a hat trick. The Black-Whites had their finest season on the African continent since 2005 when they advanced to the round of 16. But if Gordan Petri’s squad wants to return to the knockout stages, they’ll need to win both of their upcoming games against Köln.

Slovak vs. Nice

The Eagles’ record through two games is a 1-1 draw. A week after Joe Bryan scored the game-winning goal in Belgrade, Andy Delort scored a penalty kick in Köln at Allianz Riviera. Since 2016, Nice has competed in four UEFA Europa Conference League group stages. However, in two of those three attempts, they finished last. Czech Cup champions Slovácko, making their first participation in the group stage, are the team in last place here.

They have played to a 3-3 tie against Partizan and lost 4-2 in Germany, for a total of 12 goals in their two meetings. Even with Jan Kalabika’s hat trick, Martin Svdk will be worried about his team’s generous defense. If Nice wins, they’ll take three important points out of Mstsk fotbalov stadion.

Read More: Champions League 2022-23 Matchday 3: Wednesday Fixtures, Timings, And How To Watch!

Group E:
  • AZ Alkmaar Vs. Apollon Limassol
  • Dnipro-1 Vs. Vaduz

AZ Alkmaar Vs. Apollon Limassol

The Cheeseheads have a perfect record thus far, with victories of 1-0 against Dnipro-1 and 4-1 against Vaduz at home. Dani de Wit, Yukinari Sugawara, Sam Beukema, and Yusuf Baras all scored in the latter. So far this season, Pascal Jansen’s squad has won all four European home games, scoring 16 goals in the process (including qualifications). As a result, this is a challenging task for Apollon Limassol, which now has only one point on the board.

After playing to a scoreless draw in Liechtenstein, David Català’s squad was blown out 3-1 at home by Dnipro-1 a week later. The Cypriot champions are competing in a UEFA Europa Conference League group stage for the fifth time, hoping to achieve a first-place finish. The odds of losing at AFAS Stadion are high.

Dnipro-1 Vs. Vaduz

About three weeks ago, in Nicosia, they defeated Apollon Limassol 3-1, thanks to goals from Valentyn Rubchynskyi and Artem Dovbyk. Although they were the losing finalists in the Europa League in 2015, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk is making its first participation in a UEFA Europa Conference League group stage this season. Can Oleksandr Kucher’s squad repeat their success in their temporary home of Choice, Slovakia?

Vaduz, meanwhile, finished last in Switzerland’s second division but made history by qualifying for the group stage as the first club from Liechtenstein. While Alessandro Mangiarratti’s squad played to a scoreless draw against Apollon in their first game, they were blown out by AZ, 4-1. They’ll be doing well if Anthony Goelzer’s equalizer in Alkmaar is the only goal they score in the whole group stage. In the Koická futbalová aréna, Dnipro-1 will be confident in their chances of triumph.

Group F:
  • Molde Vs. Shamrock Rovers
  • Gent vs. Djurgardens IF

 Molde Vs. Shamrock Rovers

Considering this is Shamrock Rovers’ first time competing in the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage since 2011, they were pegged as the worst team in the competition. Even though the Irish champions played to a scoreless draw against Djurgrden in Dublin, they were blown out by Gent, 3-0, the following week. Team Stephen Bradley has yet to score a goal or win a game in this round of group play.

Meanwhile, Molde is 15 points ahead of second place with just six games remaining in the Eliteserien, but they are not playing well. In their season opener, Erling Moe’s men played to a scoreless draw with Gent, and in their most recent match, they were stunned 3-2 in Stockholm. Djurgrdens IF won in overtime despite having Datro Fofana sent off after he had scored a penalty. That’s why the top team in Norway’s league can’t afford to lose either game against Shamrock Rovers.

Gent vs. Djurgardens IF

Despite playing to a scoreless draw at Molde and a resounding 3-0 triumph over Shamrock Rovers, Gent is yet to allow an opponent to score. Ghelamco Arena saw Hugo Cuypers score the game-winning goal and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe add two more. Far more shocking is the fact that is visiting Djurgrdens IF, who are also making their debut in the group phase, are tied for fourth place with four points.

They came away from Dublin with a scoreless draw but then won 3-2 in a Nordic derby against Molde on the following day. In Stockholm, three different players scored—Amadou Doumbouya, Emmanuel Banda, and Joel Asoro, the latter of whom scored in added time to send the crowd into a frenzy. So, if one team wins in Belgium, will they go three points ahead of the other?

Group G:
  • Slavia Prague vs. CFR Cluj
  • Ballkani Vs. Sivasspor

Slavia Prague vs. CFR Cluj

The  UEFA Europa Conference League Final will be held at Slavia Prague’s stadium this season, and if things continue as they are, the Czech team may very well be participating. After a draw against Sivasspor in Turkey and a win against Ballkani at home, the Slavists are currently at the top of Group G. Peter Olayinka scored in both games, with Lukas Masopust netting the game-winning goal in the five-goal shootout three weeks ago.

Slavia’s run to the Europa League semifinals under Jindich Trpiovsk spans the 2019 and 2021 seasons, with the most recent appearance being in the 2018–19 campaign. Overall, Slavia Praha is a tough team to beat. So, it’s going to be a challenging assignment for CFR Cluj, especially since they start the season at the bottom of the standings.

A week after Yuri Matias’s heroics earned a point for Sivasspor in Kosovo (their group opener), Sivasspor traveled to Transylvania and came away with a 1-0 victory. Dan Petrescu’s squad came in last place in their group a year ago and have since won only once in their past 12 matches against other teams in the same division. With this in mind, it’s safe to assume that the home team will win when playing at Fortuna Arena.

Ballkani Vs. Sivasspor

For starters, Dia Saba’s equalizer helped them to a 1-1 tie with Slavia Praha in Turkey. The next week, at Stadionul Dr. Constantin Rădulescu, a penalty kick by Max-Alain Gradel proved to be the game-winner in a match against Cluj. Winners of the Turkish Cup, who have only competed in one other group stage campaign (in 2020) and finished third, are currently in an excellent position to improve upon that result.

At the same time, Ballkani made history by becoming the first Kosovo team to play in a UEFA Europa Conference League group stage. Their best result thus far was a 1-1 draw against Cluj in Pristina, with Armend Thaçi scoring; they then suffered a crushing 3-2 loss to Prague on matchday two. Ermal Krasniqi and Meriton Korenica scored for the visitors in vain in the first half, but it was all over by then. All things considered, a home victory seems likely for New Sivas 4 Eylül Stadium’s home team.

Group H:
  • Basel takes Vs. K. Slovan Bratislava
  • Pyunik Vs Zalgiris Vilnius

Basel takes Vs. K. Slovan Bratislava

Even before the draw was made, Basel was expected to finish on top of this group. Now, they are three points ahead. The Swiss team started out with a 3-1 home win over Pyunik, helped greatly by a brace from Wouter Burger. Then, Andi Zeqiri, playing on loan for Brighton, scored the game-winning goal in Vilnius as his team defeated algiris, 1-0. Last year, RotBlau made it to the round of 16, and this year, with club veteran Alexander Frei at the helm, they hope to go even further.

In the meantime, K Slovan Bratislava won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969 despite never placing higher than third in a modern-era group. Slovak champions Algiris had held them to a scoreless draw and then shocked them with a 2-0 loss in Yerevan. For Vladimir Weiss’s squad, a win at St. Jakob-Park against Basel is crucial if they want to keep pace with the rest of the league.

Pyunik Vs Zalgiris Vilnius

Artak Dashyan and Yusuf Otubanjo scored for the Armenian champions as they defeated K Slovan Bratislava 2-0 on matchday two. Pyunik is making their UEFA Europa Conference League debut in the group stage, but a win here would put Yegishe Melikyan’s squad in an excellent position to advance to the knockout round.

Meanwhile, Zalgiris Vilnius made history by qualifying for a group stage for the first time as a Lithuanian team. Vladimir Cheburin’s squad has failed to score, having played to a scoreless draw in Bratislava and a 1-0 home loss to Basel. So the supporters in the stands at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium may rest assured that their team will come out on top.

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