Vidi Paok Thessaloniki
Photo: MTI

Today’s game will kick off at the Groupama Arena, Budapest at 18.55pm.

Vidi switch their attention back to the Europa League as they take on PAOK in the return match on Thursday 8th November. Vidi FC have already played three matches in the group. They opened up with a defeat at home to BATE in September at the Groupama Arena in Budapest. Vidi will feel that they deserved more from that game after a battling performance. The game on the 20th September was played in front of almost 15,000 supporters. However, goals from Tuominen 27 and Filipenko 85 gave three points for the team from Belarus.

Manager Marko Nikolic commented on the game in his post match interview:

“I cannot say anything bad about our performance with the exception of the last 5 minutes. Our attitude was correct and perhaps BATE were more experienced and they converted their chances while we did not.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea travelled to Greece and won 1-0 against PAOK in the other group match later that night. It wasn’t the start to the group stage that Vidi wanted but with five games left to play, the most important is to make sure that there is still everything to play for in the final group stage match in December.

Vidi produced an even better display in early October at Stamford Bridge in London.

Chelsea went into the game having not been beaten in the Premier League. They also fielded a very strong side in front of a big 40,000 crowd in West London. Marko Nikolic will look back on the chances that Nego and later Kovács had but he would be very proud of the performance put in that evening by the Hungarian Champions.

A Morata goal after 70 minutes gave the London side a slender win and three points to go top of the group. Meanwhile Vidi travelled back home to Hungary with their heads held high and received plenty of respect from football lovers both in Hungary and beyond.

The British media were also full of praise for MOL Vidi and the way they played.

The back pages of the newspapers wrote about the very good performance from the team from Szekesfehervar, who were backed by close to 1000 travelling supporters, who had filled one corner of the famous West London stadium.

It was left to a very proud manager to face the press at Stamford Bridge shortly after the final whistle. Manager Marko Nikolic commented after the game that: ” We came here to play in a sharp game even if we respect Chelsea. I also said that the home team are currently in the top 10 in the World and I stick to that. We came here to cause a reaction for everyone and we managed it but nothing more.”

Next up in match 3 was a visit to Greece and the home of PAOK. Vidi knew that they would have to pick up points to remain with a chance of going through. With Chelsea breaking away at the top of the group with 6 points and both BATE and PAOK with 3 on the board, it was vital to get something out of the game and pick up the first group points. That is exactly what they did with first-half goals from Huszti and Stopira earning the Hungarian side a 2-0 win. It means that Chelsea’s win over BATE in the other group game resulted in Chelsea being top on 9 points. PAOK remain in second on 3 points with Vidi climbing up to third and also with 3 on the board. BATE currently lie in bottom place with the same 3 points. It promises to be a great atmosphere in Budapest on Thursday with a sell-out crowd expected, which includes over a thousand travelling over from Greece.

Stopira rose to head home Vidi’s second goal in the 2-0 away win in Thessaloniki.

Marko Nikolic was again a very proud man as he walked into the post-match press conference in Greece. It had been a tactically perfect match and he was keen to highlight this to the gathered media. “Vidi played a tactically perfect game and we were disciplined and were true fighters. PAOK did not have a 100% chance on our goal during the game. We played in similar games like this over the summer in the four qualification games.”

Press conference:

Marko Nikolic:

“We have shown over the last two years that we can be uncomfortable opponents for anyone. PAOK had a different side out most recently and they are likely to send their strongest team out. We are now starting the second half our our group stage matches from zero. This is because there are three sides level on 3 points. I am pleased that all the tickets have been sold for the game as the team deserve the support for being real fighters” – commented the Vidi manager.

István Kovács:

“It will be a totally different game than the one in Greece. It seems based on results that we are performing better away from home that on our home pitch, but here is the chance to show that we can achieve good results in Hungary. Due to several reasons ahead of our play-off game, and perhaps because of lack of experience, we lost but we have the chance to put it right. The first game with PAOK FC is a good base to start and we need to be better than them in each department” – said the midfielder.

A win tonight would see Vidi go second on 6 points and that would really give an extra motivation for the away game against BATE at the end of November.


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