HAPPY HALLOW… UKRAINIAN CUP ROUND OF 16!!!
Most children will be excited for tomorrow’s festivities but the MAIN event of this week takes place of Halloween Eve!
The Ukrainian Cup reawakens as the big clubs finally enter the fray.
Current holders Shakhtar, Dynamo, Zorya, Desna, Kolos and Vorskla all enter at this stage and the draw has conjured up some seriously intriguing fixtures!
The tie of the round, sees the two ‘favourites’ for the trophy meet at the (their) first hurdle!
Dynamo Kyiv host Shakhtar Donetsk in what will be the sides’ third meeting already this season. The weather and atmosphere for Dynamo’s game against Karpaty on the weekend was likely more apt for the occasion; with fog descending all around the Olympiyskyi.
However, with that game ending rather disappointingly and the fact that Kyiv sit ten points behind their arch rivals in the table, this game looks to be a potential precursor for resurrecting a somewhat already ‘dead’ domestic season.
Many will tip the victors of this fixture to march on take the silverware next Spring. After experimenting with a new look line up that quickly reverted to the standard personnel after half time, Mykhaylychenko looks to be clutching at straws when it comes to injecting anything new. Rather it’s Dynamo’s loan players elsewhere who seem to be flourishing!
Nevertheless, Shakhtar know that this is likely to also be their most difficult game in the competition so they won’t come to spectate. Both sides should be expected to field full strength teams, Shakhtar allowed to with the league so comfortable whilst Dynamo out of necessity. The only question left is what IS Dynamo’s strongest line up and does Mykhaylychenko know what it is?
Elsewhere there are a number of other Cup ties that are sure to also catch the eye. Out of the eight matches, SEVEN will be televised or streamed on YouTube!
The secondary game that catches the eye is that of Oleksandriya welcoming Zorya to town! Be it not for the two teams in the former match, these two would be good dark horses to back. Oleksandriya has the most impressive defence outside of Shakhtar whilst Zorya has the most exciting attack.
As with Dynamo, this seems to be both teams’ main chance of filling the trophy cabinet, so it will be expected that that they will give a good go. Pankiv against Rusyn and Lednev is going to be quite the spectacle! The game is available to watch live on the Oleksandriya YouTube channel!
Other games taking place feature Olimpik, who are on a rich vein of form in the league travel back to their home oblast as they take on Mariupol. The game is live on Futbol 2.
Former Karpaty duo, Mykhaylo Kopolovets and Vasyl Kobin’s FC Minaj are at home to Lviv. The player-coach – manager pairing will be aiming to put more misery on Lviv’s awful start to the season. The game is live on the Uzhnet Plus TV YouTube channel.
Kolos will be wanting to put their recent run of defeats behind them as they host a side in an even worst state of affairs – Vorskla . A win for either side would help get back a bit of confidence lost in the league. This match up is live on Futbol 2.
Last year’s surprise finalists Inhulets are aiming to stage a repeat of those proceedings as they take on an out of sorts Dnipro-1. The home side have already taken a UPL scalp so far, as they dumped out Karpaty for the second time in a row.
The Persha Liha side handled the pressure well last year when facing top flight competition and have shown so far that they’re not intimidated by such a calibre of opponent. As such, Dnipro-1 should we weary as Inhulets are more than capable of pulling off a scare! The FC Inhulets YouTube channel will be broadcasting the events live!
We then travel further south, as high flying Desna visit Mykolayiv. The Chernihiv side traipse the length of the country for this one, aiming to add a cup run to their, so far, impressive league performance this season.
With Mykolayiv, underwhelming in the Persha Liha at the current moment, the tie shouldn’t be too difficult for Ryabokon’s men but as is well known in cup football; anything can happen! This is the only fixture that will not be broadcast live (according to the UAF).
It is then the turn of the lowest ranked side in the competition to aim to make more club history. Alliance Lypova Dolyna, of the Druha Liha, the last representatives of Ukraine’s third tier take on Hirnyk Sport Horishni Plavni of the Persha. If there’s ever going to a ‘cupset’ you would hope it’s in this one.
After Inhulets’ unprecedented and historic run to the final last season, Alliance can inspiration as they hope to become the first ‘third division’ team to make it to the ultimate stage! The game is live on the ‘ФК Альянс‘ YouTube channel!
FULL R16 FIXTURE UKRAINIAN 🏆 TIES:
Mariupol v Olimpik – 12:00 (GMT)
📺 – Futbol 2
Minaj v Lviv – 12:00 (GMT)
💻 – Uzhnet + TV (YT)
Inhulets v Dnipro-1 – 13:00 (GMT)
💻 – Inhulets YT
Mykolayiv v Desna – 13:00 (GMT)
Kolos v Vorskla – 15:00 (GMT)
📺 – Futbol 2
Oleksandriya v Zorya – 16:00 (GMT)
💻 – Oleksandriya YT
Alliance v Hirnyk Sport – 16:00 (GMT)
💻 – Альянс YT
Dynamo v Shakhtar – 17:30 (GMT)
📺💻 – 2+2 / FootballHub YT