Sheriff Tiraspol vs Legia Warsaw – Thursday 18:00 BT/19:00 CET – Sheriff Stadium – Tiraspol, Moldova.
Sheriff Tiraspol have gotten almost a perfect result on the road against the Polish champion Legia Warsaw. Legia had taken the lead in the first leg in the 77th minute when Kasper Hämäläinen brought the Wojskowi ahead. A 1-0 advantage would have been a perfect result for Legia, but with just moments to go Sheriff struck back equalising the score when Cyrille Bayala scored for the Moldovan champions.
With the game, tight 1-1 Sheriff will now have the advantage when the second leg kicks off in Tiraspol on Thursday. Playing at the 12,746 Sheriff Stadium, the Moldovan champion will want to qualify for the group stage of a European tournament for the first time since 2013-14. Back in 2013 Sheriff were drawn into a group with Tottenham Hotspur, Anzhi Makhachkala and Tromsø and managed to finish the group in the third spot.
Since then Sheriff have failed to reach the group stage of a European competition for three consecutive years. In 2014 they were eliminated by Rijeka at the playoff stage and in 2015 by Odds BK. Finally, in 2016 it was Hapoel Be’er Sheva that provided the final obstacle as Sheriff followed a 0-0 draw at home up with a 2-3 defeat in Israel.
Now with the final leg being played in Moldova Sheriff hope that they can make the last step and return to the group stage of the Europa League. With their fanatical fans backing them up and with a young and talented side at their disposal Sheriff could even be considered the small favourite to make the step and qualify.
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Legia Warsaw – Players to look out for:
Vitalie Damascan #99 Sheriff Tiraspol
The 18-year-old Moldovan striker has recently turned heads when he scored three goals in Sheriff’s 3-1 win over Dinamo-Auto in the Divizia Nationala. Brought through Zimbru Chisinau’s youth academy Damascan has scored six goals in five Moldovan championship games this season.
Dominik Nagy #21 Legia Warsaw
The 22-year-old Hungarian national team player is one of the most dynamic players on this Legia Warsaw side. Brought in from Ferencváros last January Nagy has already managed one goal and one assist in four Ekstraklasa games this season. Nagy also scored once during Legia’s failed Champions League campaign and will be key in Legia’s attempt to reach the next stage of this competition.
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Legia Warsaw – Match Stats
- The two sides have never played against each other.
- Both teams started the campaign in the UEFA Champions League qualification.
- Sheriff were eliminated by Qarabag in the third round of Champions League qualification.
- Legia were kicked out by Astana.
Prediction: Sheriff Tiraspol vs Legia Warsaw 2-0
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Legia Warsaw – Possible Lineups
Mikulic – Cristiano, Posmac, Racu, Susic – Badibanga, Anton, Brezovec, Bayala _ Mugosa, Damascan
Coach: Roberto Bordin
Malarz – Guilherme, Pazdan, Dabrowski, Jedrzejczyk – Moulin, Maczynski – Kucharczyk, Hämäläinen, Nagy – Chuckwu
Coach: Jacek Magiera
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.