How FC Zurich prepared for Hearts Europa League play-off tie - hat-trick star, Leeds United target, changes

Hearts will face Zurich in their huge Europa League play-off second-leg clash at Tynecastle Park on Thursday night.

While Robbie Neilson’s men were falling to a 2-0 defeat to Celtic in a Premiership clash in Glasgow, their Swiss opponents were involved in cup action.

Franco Foda took his team to third tier side SC Cham in the Swiss league, where they comfortably won 4-0.

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The former Austrian national team manager was able to make 10 changes to the side which defeated Hearts 2-1 in St Gallen on Thursday with centre-back Karol Mets the only one keeping his place in the starting XI.

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Cheick Conde, Wilfried Gnonto, Fabian Rohner and Fidan Aliti all started having come off the bench in the Europa League clash.

Gnonto, who has been linked with a big-money move to Leeds United, helped create the opening goal, playing a pass to Rohner for the assist, while he won and missed a first-half penalty.

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An Italian international who is highly regarded by Roberto Mancini, the 18-year-old is still likely to feature in Edinburgh despite the interest from the Premier League side with Leeds boss Jesse Marsch confirming their interest in the forward.

The star of the show, however, was Aiyegun Tosin who netted a hat-trick.

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Donis Avdijaj battles Peter Haring during Zurich's win over Hearts. Pic: Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP

The Benin international has failed to score in the league so far but gave Foda food for thought heading into the Tynecastle Park clash.

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Zurich are yet to win a game in the Swiss league but are odds-on to progress in the Europa League play-off having won the first leg.

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