Hibernian reached the third round of qualifying for the Europa Conference League two seasons ago and will be hoping not to depart at the same point this time around when they host Luzern at Easter Road at 19:30 on Thursday 10 August.

Football Bet of the Day

  • FC Luzern to beat Hibernian @ 11/8

The Edinburgh outfit have endured a difficult start to the new campaign, losing their opening game of the Scottish Premiership campaign 3-2 to St Mirren and being humbled away from home by Andorran side Inter d’Escaldes in their first European game.

Lee Johnson’s side did bounce back to record an emphatic 6-1 home win over Interto secure passage to this point, but will need to improve to get past a solid Luzern side.

The visitors finished fourth in the Swiss Super League last season and got the better of Swedish side Djurgardens in their first qualifying round.

A fifth-place finish in the Scottish Premiership last season will have been a disappointment to many Hibs fans, particularly after the poor start the side that eventually finished in third, Aberdeen, had to the season.

Johnson’s men were also pipped to fourth spot by city rivals Hearts and a reaction was needed this time around.

However, the loss of star striker Kevin Nisbet to Millwall looks like a real blow, despite only starting 16 games the Scotland international was top scorer with 12 league goals and no other Hibs player registered double figures.

Dylan Vente has been signed from the Dutch second tier to replace Nisbet’s goals, with veteran Adam Le Fondre also joining after a stint in Australia.

Winger Martin Boyle will have to step up if he can avoid the injury issues that have plagued him recently and his performances could be key to the fortunes of his side this season.

Early signs have not been the best for the Edinburgh club, however their 2-1 loss away to Inter d’Escaldes was followed by a 3-0 preseason defeat at the hands of League One side Blackpool.

A resounding 6-1 win in Europe will have bolstered morale, but that was immediately dented again by a 3-2 loss at home to St Mirren on Sunday.

Luzern represent a tough test as well, the Swiss team saw off Djurgardens in the previous round and have a number of interesting young talents, including 21-year-old Swiss midfielder Ardon Jashari.

Germany international Max Meyer captains the side and they look to have enough quality in their ranks to get the better of a Hibs side who have not been in good form recently and may struggle against an opponent of this calibre.

A win in the first leg would set up Luzern well for progression to the next round, where they would face Aston Villa and you can take the Swiss side for the win in this clash.

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