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Europa League | First Qualifying Round | 1st Leg
Jul 11, 2024 at 6pm UK
Paksi FC Stadion

Paksi SE
0 - 4
Corvinul Hunedoara

Kinyik (32'), Vecsei (72')
Szabo (76')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Bus (9'), Lupu (45+2', 86', 90+3')
Sandu Maxim (52'), Alexandru Neacsa (86'), Bradu (89'), Manolache (90+8'), Ubbink (90+8')

Preview: Paksi SE vs. Corvinul Hunedoara - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Paksi SE and Corvinul Hunedoara, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both commencing their unlikely mission for places in the revamped league phase, Paksi SE and Corvinul Hunedoara will meet at Paksi Stadion on Thursday night for the first leg of their first-round Europa League qualifier.

The Nuclear Team are back on the continental stage following a 13-year absence, whilst the Ravens will be playing European football for the first time since the early 1980s.

Match preview

Reaching the top flight of Hungarian football in 2006, Paksi quickly established themselves as a major player at that level, and during the 2010-11 term they finished second overall, earning a spot in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, representing the club's first taste of continental action.

The Nuclear Team did considerably well on their maiden European adventure, beating both FC Santa Coloma of Andorra and Tromso of Norway over two legs before falling at the third round of qualifying to Hearts, with the Scottish giants recording a comfortable 5-2 aggregate success.

There is a sense of history repeating itself for Paksi 13 years on, with the Hungarians finishing second in their domestic league to win a spot in the Europa League, although Thursday's hosts were nowhere near competing with Ferencvaros for the title, ending up 16 points behind the eventual champions.

Gyorgy Bognar's troops signed off the 2023-24 campaign in sensational fashion, enjoying a six-game unbeaten run across all competitions, a spell which included a 2-0 success over the aforementioned Ferencvaros in the Hungarian Cup final, with extra-time goals from Kristof Papp and Zsolt Haraszti sealing a famous victory.

In preparation for the beginning of their European schedule, the Nuclear Team played a warm-up fixture against Austrian powerhouses Austria Wien on Saturday afternoon, recording a 3-1 win over a side who regularly compete on the continental stage.

For the first time since 1982, Corvinul Hunedoara will compete in European competition on Thursday night, with the Romanian side enjoying a marvellous climb up the footballing pyramid in recent years after languishing in the fourth tier as recently as 2018.

The Ravens achieved the unthinkable during the 2023-24 campaign, beating first-tier opponents such as CFR Cluj, Voluntari and Otelul Galati on the way to a first-ever Romanian Cup, earning the right to take a place on the European stage this summer.

Although not the first time, it is unusual to see a second-tier outfit taking part in the Europa League, but Corvinul will bring a lot of momentum from last season's league campaign into the competition after finishing second, just 12 months following their third-tier triumph.

Thursday night will see the Ravens play only their fifth-ever competitive fixture in European football, with the Romanian's only win coming during the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1982, when Corvinul smashed Austrian outfit Grazer AK 3-0 in their first-leg clash.

Following a nomadic playing career in Romania as a left-back, Florin Maxim is now in the managerial hotseat at Corvinul, with the 43-year-old overseeing the club's marvellous rise from the lower leagues to the edge of the top tier over the past three years.

Paksi SE form (friendlies):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Corvinul Hunedoara form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L

Team News

After netting 11 goals in the Hungarian top flight last season, 35-year-old Norbert Konyves will be tasked with producing a moment of attacking quality for Paksi on Thursday night.

The Nuclear Team have a policy of only fielding Hungarian players, meaning that youngsters such as Kevin Horvath and Gabor Vas are likely to be viewed as the future of the club.

Corvinul have suffered a major blow in the early stages of the summer transfer window, with last season's leading marksman Marius Coman moving to first-tier side Sepsi.

As a result, the Ravens have a 16-goal hole to fill in their attacking line as they prepare to fight domestically and in Europe, with the likes of Marius Lupu needing to step up.

Paksi SE possible starting lineup:
Szappanos; Osvath, Kinyik, Lenzser, J Szabo; Papp, Mezei, Konyves, B Szabo; Bode, Hahn

Corvinul Hunedoara possible starting lineup:
Broke; Jacob, Lica, Manolache, Velisar; Bradu, Neacsa, Pirvulescu, Mitran; Wolf, Lupu

SM words green background

We say: Paksi SE 3-0 Corvinul Hunedoara

Following a strong campaign in the Hungarian top flight, Paksi will be confident of making relatively light work of second-tier opposition on Thursday night.

With a second leg at home to come later in the month, Corvinul need to ensure that they are still in with a chance after the first leg, but we believe that the Romanians are going to struggle massively on the road.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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