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Midtjylland vs PAOK: UEFA Europa Conference League background, form guide, previous meetings

Midtjylland and PAOK meet for the first time in European competition as they go head to head in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs.

Midtjylland players celebrate after a UEFA Europa League group stage game
Midtjylland players celebrate after a UEFA Europa League group stage game FrontzoneSport via Getty Images

Midtjylland and PAOK meet for the first time in European competition as they go head to head in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs.

• Nine points in UEFA Europa League Group F were not enough to keep Midtjylland in that competition as they finished below Crvena zvezda and Braga, a 0-0 draw at bottom-placed Ludogorets on Matchday 6 proving decisive. PAOK, meanwhile, registered 11 points in finishing runners-up to Midtjylland's domestic rivals FC Copenhagen in UEFA Europa Conference League Group F.

Goal of the Group Stage top ten

Previous meetings
• Midtjylland's one previous contest with Greek opposition ended in a comprehensive defeat by Panathinaikos in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League qualifying play-offs (1-4 a, 1-2 h).

• PAOK posted their first win in Denmark, at the third attempt, when they defeated Copenhagen 2-1 on Matchday 3 with goals from Sidcley and Andrija Živković. They lost at home by the same score two weeks later, with Živković again on target, making the Salonika side's all-time record against Danish teams W3 D1 L2. PAOK have won one and lost one of their previous two-legged knockout ties with Danish clubs.

Midtjylland vs PAOK: the latest from the match

Highlights: Midtjylland 3-2 Braga

Form guide
• Midtjylland's second place in the 2020/21 Danish Superliga, a point behind champions Brøndby, earned them the opportunity to make an immediate return to the UEFA Champions League group stage, where they participated for the first time last season. However, after overcoming Celtic in the second qualifying round, Bo Henriksen's side were eliminated in the third by PSV Eindhoven and therefore made a second appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Unlike the first, in 2015/16, the Jutland side were unable to make further progress. Despite reviving their chances with dramatic back-to-back wins against Crvena zvezda (1-0 a) and Braga (3-2 h) on Matchdays 4 and 5 respectively, that closing stalemate in Bulgaria left them in third place, meaning a mid-term switch to the UEFA Europa Conference League.

• Midtjylland have lost just one of their last six European home games (W2 D3) and were winners of their one previous post-Christmas continental encounter in Denmark, beating Manchester United 2-1 in the first leg of the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32 before exiting the competition with a 5-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

Highlights: PAOK 2-0 Lincoln Red Imps

• PAOK qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League twice over last season, as runners-up in the league to Olympiacos and winners of the Greek Cup – for the eighth time – thanks to a 2-1 victory over the champions in the final.

• Having exited last season's UEFA Europa League at the group stage, PAOK entered the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League in the third qualifying round, where, under returning head coach Răzvan Lucescu, they beat Bohemians before knocking out Rijeka in the play-offs. In the group stage, where they were Greece's lone representatives, they twice beat Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar 2-0 and drew both games against Slovan Bratislava (1-1 h, 0-0 a) in addition to trading those away wins with Copenhagen.

• A 2-0 victory at Rijeka in August ended PAOK's nine-match winless run on the road in UEFA competition (D1 L8). However, the Matchday 3 success in Copenhagen enabled the Salonika club to win three consecutive European away games for the first time in their history. They are now unbeaten on the road in four matches (W3 D1).

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UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Max Meyer (Fenerbahçe, loan), Vágner Love (Kairat Almaty), Mads Thychosen (Nordsjælland)
Out: Jens-Lys Cajuste (Reims), Dion Cools (Zulte Waregem, loan), Mads Hansen (Nordsjælland), Jakob Larsen, Jonas Lössl (Brentford, loan)

In: Filipe Soares (Moreirense), Antonio Čolak (Malmö, end loan), Sverrir Ingi Ingason
Out: Aventis Aventisian (Go Ahead Eagles), Anderson Esiti, Ioannis Konstantelias (Eupen, loan), Fernando Varela, Karol Świderski (Charlotte)

Links and trivia 
• Midtjylland midfielder Pione Sisto's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.

• Midtjylland's Paulinho and PAOK's Douglas Augusto were team-mates at Brazilian club Bahía from January to June 2019.

• Max Meyer, Midtjylland's new January loan signing from Fenerbahçe, scored against PAOK for Schalke in the German club's 3-0 away win in the first leg of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League round of 32. That was one of four games he played for Schalke against PAOK, winning two and drawing two.

• PAOK's Croatian striker Antonio Čolak spent the 2021 season under Danish coach Jon Dahl Tomasson at Malmö, winning the Swedish Allsvenskan and also featuring in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• PAOK coach Lucescu turns 53 on the day of the game.

• This is Midtjylland's 11th European match this season, making 2021/22 the club's longest continental campaign.

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