Sheriff Tiraspol will host BATE in the first leg of the third round of UEFA Europa League qualifying. Both teams will be aiming to forget their UEFA Champions League elimination from a week ago. The victors of this two-legged match might earn a playoff spot either KI Klaksvik or Molde FK.
Preview (Sheriff Tiraspol vs BATE)
Sheriff, the 21-time league champions, defeated Petrocub by six points during the regular season. They won the Moldovan league for the sixth consecutive season last year. Roberto Bordin’s team won all 24 league games they played during the league competition’s two stages while going undefeated in their 10 championship round contests. They also drew six of the 24 games. Before this, Sheriff was involved in two exciting rounds of the Champions League qualifying tournament. It began with a first-leg loss to Farul. They were able to turn around in the second leg after extra time. Taking the lead against Maccabi Haifa in the second round, it looked very promising for the Moldovan team.
BATE, who finished third in the Belarusian Premier League at the end of the previous campaign, took the place of Shakhtyor in the Champions League qualifying round after the league champions were disqualified for their role in a match-fixing incident.The other two clubs found guilty of providing illegal financial incentives to other teams in the league, in addition to Shakhtyor, were Belshina Bobruisk, which finished in second place, and Energetic-BGU. All three teams received point reductions.
The visitors won their home leg 2-0 to secure a 3-1 overall triumph against Albanian champions Partizani Tirana. They were on the losing end of a goal fest in the second round. It ended 11-5 on aggregate in favor of Cyprus team Aris Limassol. BATE’s domestic performance has deteriorated, despite the fact that they are still alive in Europe. At the halfway point of the season, they are in fifth position and are already 13 points behind league leaders Dinamo Minsk. The team led by Kirill Alshevskiy last participated in this competition during the 2018–19 campaign, reaching the knockout stages. Despite being huge underdogs owing to their inconsistent play this year.
Luvannor, who scored his first league goal against Petrocub last week, will almost probably start up front. It will be fascinating to see if Bordin sticks with the 4-4-2 formation he usually uses or chooses to go with a lone frontman. If the Sheriff manager chooses the latter, Jerome Ngom Mbekeli is most likely to team up with Luvannor up front, and if he chooses the single striker formation, Joao Paulo Fernandes will serve as the fifth player in midfield.
With six league goals this season, Valeri Gromyko is BATE’s top scorer. He should stay in the number 10 position after scoring against Aris Limassol in the Champions League qualifying matches last week. Aleksandr Martynov might start this game after coming off the bench before halftime in the previous one as Alshevskiy may be tempted to make changes in defense after giving up 11 goals in their last two games. Sheriff is experienced in dealing with these high-stakes situations, and they will be hoping to secure a solid advantage to bring to Borisov Arena next week. BATE, though, has demonstrated that they pose a threat to attack.
Sheriff Tiraspol 3 – 1 BATE
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