UKRAINIAN FOOTBALL SHOW – EPISODE FIVE

NEW POD EPISODE

Check out the latest episode with Adam pate, Andriy Victorov and ourselves

20/21 UPL MD 1 REVIEW & SEASON PREVIEW SPECIAL

We discuss:‪

UPL Opening weekend

PredictionsTransfer assessments

Available to listen via any of the platforms below:

APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ukrfut24-podcast-season-opener/id633108165?i=1000489083969

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5qxYJcPSVlNQAmtyRJolJe?si=3UtbvoTuQkWNRK6wyFvg9Q

AUDIOBOOM: https://audioboom.com/posts/7666383-ukrfut24-podcast-season-opener?fbclid=IwAR1RfoQGtVXJZi_3F_xgDDe47Ze-3eoG8xzFYLnc3Fp0tIV-YkixNIMENZk

THE UPL PREVIEW: 20/21

THE UPL 20/21 SEASON IS UPON US 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

Top flight football RETURNS to Ukraine TODAY for its 30th edition just a month after 19/20 ended!

Following one of the strangest but most exiting seasons in recent memory 20/21 has A LOT to live up to!

ULTIMATE 20/21 UPL PREVIEW

20/21 LEAGUE FORMAT CHANGES:

UPL returns to 14 teams – 1st time since 16/17 season

Return to double round robin style tournament ONLY (each side plays each other home & away)

26 Matchdays – NO Championship/Relegation Group splits (too congested with 14 teams)

20/21 PLACES & PRIZES:

🥇 – 21/22 UCL GS

🥈- 21/22 UCL 3rd Q Round

🏆 – (Cup)21/22 UEL Play Off Round

🥉 – 21/22 UConfL* 3rd Q Round

4️⃣ – 21/22 UConfL* 2nd Q Round

* UEFA Conference League – New Third tier 🇪🇺 competition

If Cup Winner finishes 🥇or🥈then UEL place goes to 🥉

RELEGATION:

Very simple

1️⃣4️⃣ – Relegation to Persha Liha

Just ONE side goes down due to the 21/22 UPL expanding to 16 teams

ONE side ⬇️

THREE Persha Liha sides ⬆️

(Same as this year – just no Relegation group)

THE CLUBS

Shakhtar Donetsk

19/20: 🥇

🏡: NSK Olympiyskyi, Kyiv

Notable Transfers IN / OUT:

Wellington Nem – Released

Mykhaylo Mudryk – Desna (Loan)

Artem Bondarenko – Mariupol (Loan)

Oleh Kudryk – Mariupol (Loan)

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK:

📍Start season just FOUR days after ending 19/20 edition (losing 5-0 to Inter in UEL Semi)

📍Aging stars may suffer Burnout?

📍Little much has changed since last season as a result

📍No key losses thus far

📍Another title charge expected – a level above

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Marcos Antônio – CM

Already being dubbed ‘The New Fred’ – Energetic box to box mid- good range of passing – eye for goal inside & outside of box

Manor Solomon – RM

The Israel wide man is expected to feature more in 20/21 – fast & skilful dribbler + scores

DYNAMO KYIV

19/20:🥈

🏡: NSK Olympiyskyi, Kyiv

Notable Transfers IN / OUT:

Bohdan Lednev – Loan Return

Oleksandr Tymchyk – Loan Return

Vladyslav Supryaha – Loan Return

Serhiy Buletsa – Loan Return

Artem Kravets – Free Agent (IN)

Josip Pivaric – Released

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK:

📍Most anticipated season in years

📍Mircea Lucescu is DK manager

📍Ultra feud w ML & Club owners

📍Returning loanees expected to be given a chance: Lednev, Tymchyk & Supryaha

📍Supryaha to solve DK ST issue?

📍All friendlies BCD – no idea about ML tactics

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Vladyslav Supryaha – ST

15 UPL goals on loan at Dnipro-1 last term – so he looks to be ready to step into ST role @ DK – electric pace & good finisher

Bohdan Lednev – CAM

Playmaker impressed on loan @ Zorya in 19/20 – creative, set piece specialist – 🇺🇦 DB7

ZORYA LUHANSK

19/20: 🥉

🏡: Slavutych Arena, Zaporizhya

NOTABLE TRANSFERS IN / OUT:

Denys Favorov – Desna (IN)

Max Grechkin – Beitar J (IN)

Yehor Nazaryna – R Antwerp (IN)

B. Mykhaylychenko ⏩ Anderlecht

Y. Cheberko ⏩ LASK Linz

B. Lednev ⏩ DK

O. Tymchyk ⏩ DK

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK:

📍Viktor Skripnyk STAYS as manager for now (Was going to Dnipro-1 but deal fell flat)

📍Lost A LOT of key men in break – replacements brought in but not same quality as those who left

📍Squad looks light with lack of goals

📍Juggling UPL & UEL will be hard

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Vlad Kocherhin (RM/ CAM)

Post lockdown he was the sides only real saving light – main creative source of attack – scores goals in a side where they come at a premium

Yehor Nazaryna (CM/CAM)

The Lednev replacement – impressed at Karpaty – Step up needed

DESNA CHERNIHIV

19/20: 4️⃣

🏡: Yuri Gagarin Stadium, Chernihiv

Notable Transfers IN/OUT:

Maksymov Dehtaryov – Olimpik (IN)

Mykhayla Mudryk – Shakhtar (IN)

Denys Favorov ⏩ Zorya Luhansk

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK:

📍UEL Q coming up – main priority in early season

📍Lost long serving captain – D Favorov who left in a contract dispute

📍Added impetus on juggling Europa & pushing for medals again

📍Strong squad – great at attacking

📍Filippov to push for that 🇺🇦 call up

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Mykhaylo Mudryk – LW

The Ukrainian Neymar has arrived in Chernihiv – the 433 star is hoping to develop more on the pitch than on IG – pacy, skilful dribbler – lots of flare

Oleksandr Filippov – ST

Finished 2nd in Golden boot race – Will be up for it again!

OLEKSANDRIYA

19/20: 5️⃣

🏡: NSK Nika, Oleksandriya

NOTABLE TRANSFERS:

Maksym Tretyakov – Dunajska Streda

(IN) Signs a permanent deal

K. Dubra – Released

A. Shendrik – Released

A. Zaporozhan – Released

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK:

📍Disappointing end to 19/20 for Sharan’s men – capitulated in Championship Group & lost UEL Play Off

📍No 🇪🇺 to worry about – just focus on the league & cup

📍No major losses – but goalscorers still lacking in the squad

📍Will be a hard def team to face

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Maksym Tretyakov – LW

Great signing to have Tretyakov permanently – contributed many a goal last season – tricky winger with finishing ability

Kyrylo Kovalets – CAM

Midfield Maestro – can pick a pass out from anywhere and also scores a few – in his prime atm

KOLOS KOVALIVKA

19/20: 6️⃣

🏡: Kolos Stadium, Kovalivka

NOTABLE TRANSFERS IN/OUT

A. Ngamba – UR La Louviere (IN)

Y. Novak – Vardar (IN)

O. Kozushko – Free Agent (IN)

M. Kravchenko – Dynamo (IN) LOAN

Y. Yefremov ⏩ FC Suduva

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Representing Kovalivka (pop. 1,500) in Europe – early stages of season focus on Q rounds

📍New stadium to open in Kovalivka – so expectation to show fans performances

📍Might be difficult to replicate 6th place finish – but will give bigger sides a good go

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Yevhen Morozko – LM

Popping up with key performances last season – his deliveries will be important to feed in Lysenko & Bondarenko

Denys Kostyshyn – CAM

Missed most of last season due to injury – but he’s back to full fitness

Fine dribbler & game changer

DNIPRO-1

19/20: 7️⃣

🏡: Dnipro Arena, Dnipro

Notable Transfers IN/OUT

Artem Dovbyk – FC Midtjylland (IN)

Bohdan Sarnavskyi – FC Lviv (IN)

Vladyslav Dubinchak – DK (IN)

Vladyslav Supryaha ⏩ DK

Serhiy Buletsa ⏩ DK

Dmytro Korkishko – Released

Vladyslav Shapoval – Released

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Potentially big season ahead

📍Mykhaylenko has a point to prove after he somehow stays in job following Skripnyk debacle

📍Lost key goals & creators – Supryaha & Buletsa

📍Dovbyk return huge positive

📍Should go & challenge for Europe places this season

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bohdan Sarnavskyi – GK

Great goalkeeper signing who was standout player for lowly FC Lviv in 19/20 – great shot & penalty stopper

Much needed problem area addressed

Oleksiy Khoblenko – ST

No Supryaha means more game time for this man – natural goalscorer

MARIUPOL

19/20: 8️⃣

🏡: V. Boyko Stadium, Mariupol

NOTABLE TRANSFERS IN/OUT

Petro Stasyuk – Free agent (IN)

Artem Bondarenko – SD (IN)

Oleh Kudryk – SD (IN)

Ruslan Fomin ⏩ FC Metal

Serhiy Yavorskyi ⏩ Vorskla

Valery Fedorchuk ⏩ Released

Viktor Kornienko ⏩ Shakhtar

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Oleksandr Babych left after 19/20 close – Ostap Markevych IN

📍Ostap, son of Myron – worked at Villarreal for 4 years

📍Got rid of some of the side’s veterans such as Fomin & club captain Yavorskyi (big loss in def)

📍Shakhtar loanees from 19/20 stay on

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oleksiy Kashchuk – RW

Main man post lockdown scoring a number of key goals – lots of energy down the right – scores goals in a team that lacks them

Artem Bondarenko – CAM

New Shakhtar loanee has been spoken of highly – exciting technical player – big season

OLIMPIK DONETSK

19/20: 9️⃣

🏡: Lobanovksyi Stadium, Kyiv

Notable Transfers IN / OUT

Kirkuk Kirilenko – Karpaty (IN)

Yevhen Neplyakh – Free agent (IN)

Vitaliy Balashov ⏩ Released

Maksym Dehtaryov ⏩ Released

Matar Dieye ⏩ Released

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Everyone’s tip for relegation last season stayed up once again thanks to magic caretaker manager – Ihor Kymovskyi

📍He’s finally been given the role FT and is close to finishing his badges

📍Another season of relegation flirting expected

📍Very much 🤷‍♂️

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Shahab Zahedi – ST

Olimpik’s best player last season – most consistent top performer and had a good stint of goalscoring form at end of season

Maxime Texeira – LW

The side’s main chance creator – gets the odd goal – but he will be carving out opps for Zahedi

VORSKLA POLTAVA

19/20: 🔟

🏡: O. Butovsky Stadium, Poltava

Notable Transfers IN/OUT

Serhiy Yavorskyi – Free agent (IN)

Ivan Pesic – Free agent (IN)

Mykyta Tatarkov – Free agent (IN)

Luizao ⏩ Porto (End of Loan)

Yevhen Martynenko ⏩ Released

Artur ⏩ Keshla

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍First FULL season in charge for Yuri Maksymov – build on last successes

📍Following cup final performance many expect a top half finish from Vorskla this time

📍Good mix of youth & experience – clearing out dead wood over past 2 windows

📍Exciting times

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Pape Alioune – CB

6’8 young centre back had his breakthrough season last year – pacey, composed tackler & confident passer

Ibrahim Kane – LM

Playing at full back or LW – Kane will always be flying down the left flank – added goals to his game & now a key man

FC LVIV

19/20: 1️⃣1️⃣

🏡: Stadion Ukraina, Lviv

Notable Transfers IN/OUT

Mikhel Ainsalu – FC Flora (IN)

Bohdan Sarnavskyi ⏩ Dnipro-1

Jonatan Lima ⏩ Released

Anton Bratkov ⏩ Released

Ihor Honchar ⏩ Released

Vladyslav Priymak ⏩ Released

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍It was a long hard season for Lviv but they stayed up thanks to their city rivals Karpaty’s financial issues

📍Certain relegation battle expected

📍Plenty of Brazilians still remain

📍No strengthening after loss of KEY men – Sarnavskyi, Honchar,Tatarkov

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Herman Penkov – GK

The man tasked with replacing Sarnavskyi – will be primary problem area as defensive is so error prone

Renann – ST

Lviv’s saving grace? Renann found some goalscoring form post Covid that Lviv will want to see replicated in 20/21

FC MINAJ

19/20: 🥇(Persha Liha)

🏡: Avanhard Stadium, Uzhorod

Notable Transfers IN/OUT

Denys Kozhanov – Free agent (IN)

Kyrylo Melichenko – SD (IN)

Dmytro Pavlish – SD (IN)

Petro Stasyuk ⏩ Mariupol

Mykhaylo Kopolovets ⏩ Retired

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍The second smallest village team in the UPL (pop. 3,088)

📍Minaj debut in the UPL as Persha Liha champs

📍Should fare well after recent good performances in the cup v UPL sides

📍More signings pending – a Kolos fairytale unlikely – but top half finish is

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Denys Kozhanov – ST

Veteran forward & last season’s Persha Liha top scorer enters the UPL for his swan song years – goals expected

Anatoliy Nuriev – ST

Last season’s club top scorer should take to the UPL with ease – almost ever present – he’ll also get goals

RUKH LVIV

19/20: 🥈

🏡: Arena Lviv, Lviv

Notable Transfers IN/OUT

Valery Fedorchuk – Free agent (IN)

Ilya Ponomarov – Free agent (IN)

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Owner Hyhoriy Kozlovksyi is currently building a state of the art academy

📍Now Rukh are in the UPL – he wants it to stay that way

📍Eclectic squad mix of old & young players – many with UPL experience

📍New-ish Manager Ivan Fedyk just 33 – 🇺🇦 Nagelsmann?

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Yuriy Klymchuk – LW

Quick, jinky winger who impressed in Persha Liha – will be interesting to see if he can step up

Danylo Kondrakov – ST

Alongside Klymchuk coming in from LW, this guy will be the main goalscoring forward – assisted by ST partner Ernest

INHULETS PETROVE

19/20: 🥉 (Persha Liha)

🏡: Zirka Stadium, Kropivnitksyi

Notable Transfers IN / OUT

Mykhaylo Plokhotnyuk – C Odesa 2

Mykyta Zelenskyi – Balkany Zorya

20/21 SEASON OUTLOOK

📍Third smallest club in UPL – town population circa 7,000

📍Eccentric owner

📍Need to stay up so they can debut in new stadium – ETA: April 21

📍18/19 Cup finalists – only ever non UPL side to make it

📍Experienced squad – Shust & Bartulovic return to UPL

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nika Sichinava – ST

Inhulets’ Georgian CF was voted Persha Liha POTS after an unforgettable campaign – 19/20 club top scorer – contributed to 40% of all goals

Maksym Kovalyov – CB

Veteran defender knocking around – main thing to note – Craziest hair in UPL

INTER V SHAKHTAR – 19/20 UEL Semi Final Preview

It’s Shakhtar’s BIGGEST GAME IN FOUR YEARS!

Following last Tuesday’s 4-1 demolition of Basel in Gelsenkirchen, Shakhtar earned the right to take part in their first European semi final since 15/16!

Tonight’s one legged UEL clash v Inter takes place in Düsseldorf

UEL SEMI FINAL

Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk

(20:00🇬🇧22:00🇺🇦)

For the 1st time in this Europa League campaign (Shakhtar entered at the R32) The Miners go into their last 4 tie v Inter as the underdogs

Two met before in 05/06 UCL Q (1-1 A / 0-2 H) Inter Won (3-1 agg)

Shakhtar impressed last week as they blew Basel away

Moraes was a real nuisance

He’s having a prolific season is Shakhtar’s key (only) forward (3 in last 2)

The Brazilian born contingent all shone w Taison, Patrick & Dodo also scoring)

Supplemented by a 🇺🇦 defensive spine

Mykola Matvienko expected to continue his role at LB in place of injured Ismaily

Khocholava back from his red card suspension – Bondar likely to return to bench as a result despite impressing v Basel

Full strength selection available for Luís Castro – Wolfsburg XI expected

Shakhtar have been ruthless since dropping into the competition from the UCL

v Benfica (5-4 agg)
v Wolfsburg (5-2 agg)
v Basel (4-1)

Unbeaten ‘away’

Fluid & speedy attacks played on the break have been primary goal origins

If allowed to control tempo – Inter will have issues

Marcos Antonio has been a revelation this season, especially post lockdown

He’s the key between midfield & attack with Marlos & Taison providing technical support to Moraes – supplementing his goalscoring burden

Alan Patrick dictates the pace & tempo whilst Stepanenko enforces

One Italian journalist was quoted in the build up to this:

‘It has to be said that they have a goalkeeper who could concede 12 goals if Inter took 12 shots’

A rather harsh assessment of veteran Andriy Pyatov who may have occasional lapses but on the whole is a quality GK

Pyatov did win the UEFA Cup back in 09 after all as well

It’s Shakhtar’s first semi final since 15/16 where they faced current SD man Konoplyanka’s Sevilla & lost on agg (3-1 A / 2-2 H)

Hence a 1 legged tie should aide SD & help keep Lukaku & co at bay for less time

Kryvtsov & Khocholava/Bondar’ll need to be at the top of their game to keep Lukaku quiet but fortunately Shakhtar’s physical defensive base should assist them

Stepanenko deploys as a sweeper at times, when required to bolster the defence in instance of full backs going forward

Shakhtar face a very similar task to that of Dnipro back in 14/15

Not playing their matches at ‘home’ stadium (Kyiv / Germany)

They need to defeat Serie A opposition (Napoli / Inter)

Sevilla awaits in the final…

Dnipro made the final on that occasion also as underdogs…

Shakhtar can take lessons from Dnipro and from their own UEFA Cup successes in 09 to spur themselves into the final tonight

Inter are a great side – but aren’t that intimidating for SD who regularly play UCL

The underdog card allows SD to take the pressure off of themselves

If anything the strange neutral venue conditions & empty stadiums are something SD are rather used to after years of internal exile in Ukraine due to Donetsk’s ongoing occupation by Russian forces

Over 1 leg – anything can happen & Shakhtar are more than capable of an upset!

THE PERSHA LIHA IS OVER!

A TRIO OF HISTORIC PROMOTIONS!

The most exciting Persha Liha in years has finally concluded over 12 months after it began!

The 19/20 CHAMPIONS are…

FC MINAJ 🥇

RUKH LVIV finish 🥈(This was confirmed following a UAF disciplinary hearing)

Inhulets come in 🥉

As a result there will be THREE UPL DEBUTANTS going into the 20/21 top flight season!

Inhulets have led the pack since the return from lockdown but the neck and neck race between them and Minaj sees the latter pip them at the line!

Minaj beat fellow promotion chasers Volyn to take gold & consign their opponents to another season in the Persha Liha

Inhulets blew the title and finish runners up after they drew 1-1 with 3rd bottom Balkany!

Balkany remain in Persha Liha for another season whilst MFC Metalurh enter the relegation play offs with Cherkashchyna!

Metalurh face Druha Liha B third placed side, Alliance Lypova Dolyna in their Relegation play off whilst Cherkashchyna take on Veres from Druha Liha A!

Rukh beat Avanhard Kramatorsk 4-0 to gain promotion in STYLE! Their game in hand is expected to be given as a 3-0 victory to them after a UAF hearing!

Ahrobiznes also win their final game 2-0 v Obolon but are destined to finish 4th following the Rukh hearing!

With regards to stadium news ahead of next season Inhulets owner Oleksandr Povoroznyuk’s revealed that his newly promoted side will play their 20/21 home games in nearby Kropyvnitskyi at the Zirka Stadium.

Their new stadium, currently under construction in Petrove is expected to be completed by April 2021.

It’s a real shame that this ‘away end’ will never grace the UPL!

UKRAINIAN FOOTBALL SHOW – EPISODE FOUR

‪NEW PODCAST EPISODE ALERT‬‪

Check out the latest episode with Adam Pate, Andriy Victorov, Shiv Singh, Maksym Podorozhnyi & ourselves via Shoot The Defence

‪We discuss:

‬‪Shakhtar in Europe

Persha Liha final run in

Groundhopping in Ukraine

Available to listen via any of the platforms below:

APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ukrfut24-podcast-shakhtars-european-tour-groundhopping/id633108165?i=1000487776596

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2Oha7OmhnBqZUYBTkZBhNJ?si=HDPgptejRriSVDozkcwZCQ

AUDIOBOOM:

SHAKHTAR V BASEL: 19/20 UEL QF PREVIEW

SHAKHTAR ENTER THE BUSINESS END OF THE EUROPA LEAGUE!

Following their impressive 5-1 aggregate win v Wolfsburg last week, Shakhtar enter the QF’s for the first time since 15/16

Tonight they face Basel as the tournament enters its neutral one leg territory phase in Germany

UEL QUARTER FINAL:

Shakhtar v Basel

(20:00🇬🇧22:00🇺🇦)

Shakhtar go into their first European QF since 15/16 as the slight favourites. They face Basel, who recently finished 3rd in the Swiss League

However they too knocked out Bundesliga opposition – Eintracht last week

Shakhtar’s 2nd leg 3-0 victory on paper – many would say flattered them

The reason for this was due to all 3 goals coming post 89’ – with Moraes grabbing a brace and sub Solomon getting one as well

However, this didn’t detract too much from the actual flow of the game

Both teams were down to 10 men from 70’ onwards – but Shakhtar dominated throughout the game

They had an opening 20 min period where Wolfsburg tried to get back into the tie – but once Shakhtar settled they easily began to dictate the tempo of play – as they did in 19/20 UPL

Moraes impressed – his persistence eventually paid off despite it not looking like it was going to be his day

He needs to be protected from injury as he remains the only experienced CF Shakhtar have

Fortunately they have an abundance of depth in midfield

Konoplyanka, Tete and Solomon can all be called up from the bench – to add attacking prowess against flailing defences

The main active problem area going into this fixture for Castro is in defence

Following Khocholava’s red card – there are a number of options Castro can use!

Potential defensive line ups:

Bolbat or Cipriano – LB / Matvienko – Kryvtsov / Dodô – RB

Matvienko – LB / Bondar – Kryvtsov / Dodô – RB

Dodô – LB / Matvienko – Kryvtsov / Bolbat or Cipriano- RB

Ukraine U20 WC winning captain Bondar took part in the pre match press conference which be of some significance to the XI

Shakhtar have a good record against Basel – won 2 and drawn 1

However, Swiss sides do have a tendency of being bogey teams for Ukrainian clubs – Young Boys defeating Shakhtar & Dynamo most recently

On the whole you would expect the Ukrainian champions to make it into the Semis – where Inter await!

A victory here in normal time will be the aim – to reserve as much energy as possible for Inter who did the deed inside 90’

More UEFA coefficient points on the line for Ukraine!

SHAKHTAR V WOLFSBURG – UEL R16 2ND LEG PREVIEW

THE EUROPA LEAGUE HIATUS IS OVER!

After almost 5 months, Shakhtar Donetsk RESUME their 19/20 European campaign as the last Ukrainian side still standing on the continent!

They face Wolfsburg in the 2nd leg of their UEL Round of 16 tie.

Shakhtar (2) v (1) Wolfsburg

(17:55🇬🇧19:55🇺🇦)

Shakhtar lead on aggregate following a narrow but deserved away win at the Volkswagen Arena back in March.

Marcos Antonio scored the winner that night following Moraes’ opener & Brooks’ equaliser.

Antonio’s goal may prove vital in the away goal stakes too!

Commenting on his & the team’s prep ahead of this game he said:

‘(Today’s) game is completely different (to first leg)- we need to forget about it…The major thing is making it further – Q for UEL QFs’

There are no fresh injury concerns for Shakhtar going into this game. Ismaily had ACL surgery post lockdown and is already out until Dec. Meanwhile Vladyslav Vakula will also be unable to help the team. Other than that – a full strength squad is expected to be selected by Castro!

The match will be taking place in Kyiv – for ease of logistical purposes and for Coronavirus safety reasoning. There’s little point in flying to Kharkiv & risking potential virus contraction especially when you’re playing Behind Closed Doors anyway. Shakhtar are expected to continue to use Kyiv for 20/21 too, following negotiations with Dynamo and the Olympiyskyi.

Shakhtar go into this tie as recently crowned UPL Champions. They won the league with 5 games to spare and as a result played out the season at a lower intensity & at times with weaker squads. Will this end up being detrimental in the side’s preparedness?

Wolfsburg return to competitive action for the first time in a month & a half. The side experienced a very inconsent final run-in following the Covid Bundesliga return. Also they have a number of injury issues – including Kevin Mbabu who tested + for Covid & is in self isolation!

The Wolfsburg team have reportedly shown concern for travelling to Ukraine due to rising Covid numbers ahead of arriving in Kyiv. Similarly in a recent interview , Wolfsburg boss initially thought his side were going to Donetsk to play (highlighting their preparedness)…

Overall – the game is delicately poised – with neither side fully certain of their match fitness despite a couple of warm up friendlies. Shakhtar with the away goal adv need to make it count to set up a UEL QF tie with either Basel or Eintracht

UEFA Coefficient points are riding on it!

Karpaty’s New Logo: A few words

Karpaty, have today revealed that they are going for a complete rebrand!

As their recent official website & social medial posts have revealed- drastic changes are coming as they prepare for life in Ukraine’s 3rd tier!

However ALL is not lost…

Do not be so quick to judge this logo change as something cheap or lazy – it is likely for good purpose…

Karpaty’s part owner Oleh Smaliychuk & Ultras Karpaty have taken part in an official legal hand over ceremony where the latter have become the official rights owners of the historic old badge.

This means it can be safeguarded in the future – especially if the current club goes bust, which very much could be the case.

Ultimately – it is likely that the current Karpaty Lviv will be liquidated (with its new badge) As a result this logo transfer will allow a reborn club / an unofficial successor to use the old badge – now it’s not in ownership of the club!

Smaliychuk is smartly trying to prevent all of the club’s rich history from going into the bin!

THE VILLAGE V THE SEAGULLS – Kolos v Mariupol – UPL UEL Play Off Final 19/20

THE EUROPA LEAGUE PLAY OFF FINAL IS UPON US 🇪🇺🇺🇦

We have come to the official end of the 19/20 Ukrainian (domestic) football season!

Kolos Kovalivka take on Mariupol for a place in the 20/21 UEL 2nd Q round!

The Village takes on The Seagulls at the NSK Olympiyskyi today 🔥

WEDNESDAY

Kolos v Mariupol

(17:30🇬🇧19:30🇺🇦)

UPL debutants Kolos Kovalivka are 90 minutes away from their maiden European campaign – after their very first season in Ukraine’s top flight!

Kovalivka, the Kyiv Oblast village that they hail from, has a population of just 1,500!

Their stadium used to hold just 1,500 people before being renovated this season and is expected to host its first UPL game next season – with a new capacity of 5,000!

Whatever happens it’s been a hugely successfully & unprecedented debut UPL season

One in which they finished in 6th (top half of the table) & recorded some historic results such as narrow losses to SD (4-3/1-0) & beat DK (2-0)

Ruslan Kostyshyn’s men play great football to match

Their dismantling of Dnipro-1 in the semi final by a scoreline of 4-1 showed the quality they possess in their ranks – with a good mix of veteran UPL players & young talent which has a bright future!

They may not be 100% ready for the UEL but they’ll give it a go if they make it

Due to stadium renovations this season, the side has played their home games in North Kyiv’s Obolon Arena and more recently at the Olympiyskyi

The ownership – a successful Agricultural firm (‘Kolos’ means an ear of wheat) bussed in fans from the Kovalivka & surrounding villages for free to see their team play

More fans are expected today as the UPL & UAF continue their post Covid-19 stadium open door experiment – with 25% capacity permitted at the Olympiyskyi – whilst conforming to social distancing rules!

On the other hand, Mariupol go into this game as underdogs!

The side finished in a record 4th place in 18/19 and have some UEL Q round experience to match but have been far from eye catching this season

They finished 8th in the league – but did beat 5th Oleksandriya in the Semi

With rumours of manager Oleksandr Babych potentially being lined up as a Skripnyk replacement at Zorya

It’s difficult to see where this Mariupol side are going – especially with the high # of SD loan players it has

After the past season, hard to see them go far in Europe either!

UKRAINIAN FOOTBALL SHOW – EPISODE THREE

HOT OFF THE PODCAST PRESS
BRAND NEW POD EPISODE OUT NOW with Adam Pate, Andriy Victorov, Volodymyr Zverov & Maxim Makarov

We discuss:

Lucescu / Dynamo drama
End of the UPL
UEL Play Offs
Aggro business in Persha Liha + plenty more!

Podcast available on:

APPLE: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/ukrfut24-podcast-lucescu-appointment-causes-uproar/id633108165?i=1000486365310

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0rsDAM77koC75yOxZi7nvh?si=_5zUlTEsQQi6eJxgkoZEsA

AUDIOBOOM: https://audioboom.com/posts/7642698-ukrfut24-podcast-lucescu-appointment-causes-uproar?fbclid=IwAR3aJ4CCX9KVrqHXdvE1KUlyko2zh77jfdorrO__W_eVpr7kPS5Q4CbLu68