The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw against Winterthur in a Swiss Super League fixture last Sunday, while Hearts secured a 4-1 victory over Dundee United in a Scottish Premiership match on the same day.
FC Zurich will host Hearts in the first leg of the Europa League playoff at Letzigrund on Thursday. The hosts are heading into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw against Winterthur in a Swiss Super League fixture last Sunday. Meanwhile, Hearts secured a dominant 4-1 victory over Dundee United in a Scottish Premiership match last weekend. Zurich got the better of Linfield over two legs in the third round of Europa League qualifier, while Hearts finished third in the Scottish top division last term to earn a spot in the Europa League qualifying playoff.
— FC Zürich (@fc_zuerich) August 17, 2022
Zurich has had a disastrous start to their 2022-23 Swiss Super League season, not registering a single win in their opening five games and sitting at the bottom of the table with just two points. In their recent outing against Winterthur last Sunday, Fabian Rohner canceled out Francisco Rodriguez’s opener to earn a point for Franco Foda’s side. Prior to that, Zurich had thrashed Linfield 5-0 over two legs in the Europa League third round qualification tie. After securing a 2-0 win against Linfield in the first leg at Windsor Park, the Switzerland outfit netted three times without reply in the home leg to seal the tie. Donis Avdijaj netted a brace while Ivan Santini scored once for Zurich.
Hearts, on the other hand, have made a decent start to their 2022-23 Scottish Premiership season, winning two of their opening three games to sit at the third place in the standings. In their last game against Dundee United last sunday, the Jam Tarts netted four times through Lawrence Shankland, Barrie McKay, Jorge Grant and Josh Ginnelly to secure the three points. Robbie Neilson’s side is aiming to progress to the group stage for the first time in their history.
FC Zurich has not reported any fesh injury concerns so far, therefore, foda has a near fully-fit squad at his disposal. Avdijaj, who netted a brace against Linfield in the second leg, is likely to lead the line with Gronto and Marchesano in support. Kamberi, Ktyeziu and Aliti could form the back-three. As for Hearts, Alex Cochrane and Craig are doubtful because of injuries. Kye Rowles and Michael Smith could form the central defensive partnership. Shankland is expected to be the target man up front with McKay and Forrest occupying the flanks.
FC Zurich probable starting lineup: Brecher; Kamberi, Kryeziu, Aliti, Boranijasevic, Selnaes, Conde, Guerrero, Marchesano, Gnonto, Avdijaj
Hearts probable starting lineup: Gordon; smith, Rowles, Halkett, Cochrane, Grant, Haring, forrest, Boyce, McKay, Shankland
The Europa League playoff match between FC Zurich and Hearts will take place at Tsirion Letzigrund on Thursday at 10:30 pm IST.
|FC Zurich vs Hearts||Key details|
|Kickoff time in Switzerland||7:00 pm|
|Kickoff time in Scotland||6:00 pm|
The live telecast of the match is available on BBC Sport web, BBC Scotland and RTS Sport.