Preview: Hacken vs. Aberdeen – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between Hacken and Aberdeen, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Scottish side Aberdeen travel to Bravida Arena in Gothenburg to take on reigning Swedish champions Hacken in the first leg of their Europa League playoff tie on Thursday night.

While the hosts are two-thirds of the way through their 2023 Swedish top-flight campaign, the visitors have only taken part in three competitive fixtures in the new season.

Match preview

Hacken’s hopes of reaching the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history were quashed at the beginning of this month when they suffered a 4-3 defeat on penalties to Faroe islands outfit KI Klaksvik following a 3-3 draw on aggregate in the second qualifying round.

However, the Wasps are still in the mix to secured group-stage football in the Europa League following their thumping 8-1 aggregate victory over FK Zalgaris in the third qualifying round, including a 5-0 second-leg home triumph last Thursday.

Ibrahim Sadiq starred for the Swedish side with two goals, and he was also on the scoresheet in the 3-2 home win over Sirius in the Allsvenskan last Sunday, with Per-Mathias Hogmo‘s side eventually coming out on top courtesy of a 95th-minute own goal.

Hacken, who currently sit second in the Swedish top-flight table after 20 games, have won each of their last four matches in all competitions, scoring 13 goals in the process, and they head into Thursday’s clash with Aberdeen unbeaten in each of their last 12 home games dating back to April.

The Wasps face Aberdeen for the first time since a 5-3 aggregate defeat against the Dons in the 2021-22 Europa Conference League second qualifying round, although they did win the second leg 2-0 on home soil.

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson on the pitch before the match on May 27, 2023© Reuters

Seven months on from suffering an embarrassing Scottish Cup defeat to sixth-tier side Darvel, Aberdeen boss Barry Robson took no chances against League One outfit Stirling Albion in the second round of the Scottish League Cup last Friday, as he named a full-strength side in a 2-1 victory at Forthbank Stadium.

Bojan Miovski and Leighton Clarkson netted either side of half time, and although Stirling threatened a late comeback when Greig Spence pulled a goal back on the 75-minute mark, the Dons held on to progress to the quarter-finals, where they will face Ross County next month.

Victory over Stirling was Aberdeen’s first of the season in any competition after they failed to beat Livingston and champions Celtic in their opening two Scottish Premiership matches, playing out a goalless stalemate with the former before losing 3-1 at home to the latter.

Robson’s side will be looking to build a positive run of form in the coming weeks, starting with Thursday’s clash with Hacken as they endeavour to move one step closer to securing Europa League group-stage football for the first time in their history.

Hacken Europa League form:

Hacken form (all competitions):

Aberdeen form (all competitions):

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Team News

Aberdeen's Bojan Miovski celebrates scoring their first goal with Hayden Coulson and Duk on January 15, 2023© Reuters

Hacken midfielder Simon Gustafson has missed the last eight games in all competitions due to a thigh injury and he is not expected to return on Thursday, while forward Blair Turgott has been sidelined since February with a cruciate ligament injury.

Summer signing Srdjan Hrstic has scored three goals in four games since joining Hacken earlier this month – all three goals scored across both legs of their Europa League win versus Zalgaris – and the 20-year-old is expected to lead the line in between wingers Sadiq and Amor Layouni.

Kristoffer Lund completed a permanent move to Palermo on Monday, so new recruit Jacob Barrett Laursen could make his debut at left-back, joining Simon Sandberg, Johan Hammar and Even Hovland in the back four, while Mikkel Rygaard and Ishaq Abdulrazak will battle for a start in centre-midfield alongside Samuel Gustafson and Amane Romeo.

As for Aberdeen, Robson is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup after naming a strong XI for the League Cup win over Stirling Albion last time out.

Centre-back Angus MacDonald recovered from a knee injury to feature against Stirling and he should be in contention to play again in some capacity on Thursday, although a back three of Nicky Devlin, Slobodan Rubezic and Jack McKenzie is set to remain intact.

Bojan Miovski and Duk scored 18 goals each across all competitions last season and the attacking duo are expected to lead the line against Hacken.

Hacken possible starting lineup:
Abrahamsson; Sandberg, Hammar, Hovland, Laursen; Rygaard, Sa. Gustafson, Romeo; Sadiq, Hrstic, Layouni

Aberdeen possible starting lineup:
Roos; Devlin, Rubezic, McKenzie; Morris, Clarkson, Polvara, Shinnie, Duncan; Miovski, Duk

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We say: Hacken 1-1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen were comprehensive winners against Hacken the last time these two team locked horns over two legs two years ago, but a tighter affair could be in store in Thursday’s first leg.

Hacken enter the clash in Gothenburg in better form than their Scottish counterparts and we can see the hosts holding on for a draw at the Bravida Arena.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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