PAOK vs HeartsUEFA Europa League Conference, KO: 18:30 Aug 31, 2023, Toumba Stadium
HEARTS face a huge ask this week when they travel to Greece to play PAOK in the second leg of the Europa Conference League play-offs.
The Jambos could probably consider themselves unlucky to lose 2-1 in Gorgie after the first leg despite Lawrence Shankland giving them an early lead from the penalty spot.
The Greeks scored twice and Hearts were left ruing missed chances and a goal ruled out after a VAR check.
And they have an uphill task at the Toumba Stadium, which has been labelled ominously for Hearts as the ‘Black Hell!'
Hearts matched the Thessaloniki side who reached the quarter finals of this competition two years ago and still feel they are in with a real chance of what would be a famous win.
But they hardly gave themselves a boost when they slumped to a weekend loss at Dundee.
PAOK cruised to a win over Kifisia in the Greek League and have now won four games on the bounce as manager Razvan Lucescu's start to build up momentum.
However, if you look at their home record in the last couple of years, both Marseille and FC Copenhagen have won in Greece and even the likes of Lincoln Red Imps and Bohemians have only lost by a couple of goals and plenty of teams have got draws.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to heads
As stated, Hearts lost out to the Greeks last week in a 2-1 defeat Tynecastle, but it could have gone either way.
Players to watch
Andrija Zivkovic was a class act last week and was fouled for the penalty that brought PAOK back into the game before firing in a superb winner. The Serbian playmaker is 19/10 to score anytime with William Hill.
Lawrence Shankland is the clear and obvious choice to net for the Scots and the Hearts captain is worth a go to score anytime at 14/5 with UniBet.
Anything else catch the eye?
Hearts are still in the tie, but they may just not have enough to get through on aggregate and the hosts could settle for a draw.
There was nothing really between the teams and Hearts had plenty of chances, While it's obvious they won't get as many in Greece, teams like Beitar Jerusalem, Levski Sofia, Slovan Bratislava and Rijeka have all escaped with a draw here in the past two seasons so it's perhaps not the Black Hell it's made out to be.
This UEFA Europa League Conference match between PAOK and Hearts will be played on Aug 31, 2023 and kick off at 18:30. Check below for our tipsters best PAOK vs Hearts prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.