MARIUPOL ENTER THE BOUT FOR A UEL GROUP STAGE SPOT TONIGHT!
After their attempts were cut short at this same stage last season, versus Bordeaux, Mariupol begin their European campaign with a tie against AZ Alkmaar!
Mariupol, have improved considerably since last July and with a 4th place finish the 18/19 league, the Seagulls will be more confident of getting at least a round further!
The key men that Mariupol will need to turn to are Vladyslav Vakula, who scored at the weekend and is a very tricky wide midfielder. He will be the main one tasked with creating chances for their lone striker, the veteran Ruslan Fomin. Fomin has also been in fine goalscoring form so far in the league with 2 in 2.
It’s also expected that a few of the U20 World Cup winning loanees will play a part too. Maksym Chekh slotted into central midfield on the weekend with Oleksiy Kashchuk debuting off the bench.
Their opponents however are very much of the same calibre as Bordeaux were. AZ Alkmaar just kicked off their season at the weekend with a 4-0 drubbing of a newly promoted side but the extra competitive match Mariupol have should give them a slight edge in the match fitness stakes.
Mariupol play the game at ‘home’ in Odesa due to the proximity of the frontline in the war with Russia to the Azov coast and the complications in travel that has arisen as a result of the former!
Mariupol along with Zorya, will be hoping to better Dynamo’s result and performance on Tuesday to ensure that Ukraine doesn’t have a disastrous week in Europe all round!