Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa Conference League clash between Paide and Anderlecht, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Both teams are seeking their maiden appearance in this competition in what is set to be the sophomoric edition of the third-tier European club tournament.
Off the back of four consecutive continental involvements, Paide eased past the challenge of Tammeka in a routine 3-0 victory when the sides faced off on Sunday.
With 36 points from their 20 league games so far, Paide sit fourth in the league table, a whopping 13 points adrift of current leaders Flora Tallinn who have played one game more.
Having lost just one of their last nine home games across all competitions, Thursday’s hosts approach what is set to be a very difficult task with reason to believe that they can upset the odds.
Anderlecht failed to maintain their perfect start to the new league campaign as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Cercle Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadion on Saturday.
Consequently, Les Mauves et Blancs have slipped to sixth place in the Jupiler Pro League, three points behind Leuven at the top of the standings.
Aiming to end a run of three straight seasons without European football, Thursday’s visitors set out to steal a march on their hosts ahead of next week’s return leg in Belgium.
Paide Europa Conference League form:
Paide form (all competitions):
Anderlecht form (all competitions):
On his return to the starting XI, Bubacarr Tambedou got himself on the scoresheet, and the forward is expected to retain his place in the lineup here.
Twenty-two-year-old Deabeas Owusu-Sekyere was absent from his side’s last outing over the weekend, making him a huge doubt for Thursday’s contest.
Off the back of consecutive cameo appearances in his first two outings for Anderlecht, the Portuguese Fabio Silva will be keen to get the nod to feature right from the off this time.
Amid links of a possible move to Manchester City, Sergio Gomez remains sidelined with a muscle problem which has seen him fail to feature since May.
Paide possible starting lineup:
Jarju; Ojamaa, Razak, Pelt, Saliste; Mool, Frolov, Palumets; Piht, Singateh, Tambedou
Anderlecht possible starting lineup:
Van Crombrugge; Delcroix, Hoedt, Debast; Amuzu, Verschaeren, Trebel, Ashimeru, Abdulrazak; Esposito, Silva
We say: Paide 1-3 Anderlecht
Anderlecht boast a vastly superior squad on paper, and while that does not always translate to success on the pitch, we are backing them to come out on top in this one and take control of the tie overall.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.