Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting CP – Thursday, October 4, 17:55 BST/18:55 CEST – Oleksiy Butovsky Vorskla Stadium, Poltava, Ukraine
The UEFA Europa League is back underway. Ukrainian club Vorskla Poltava will host Portuguese side Sporting CP on Matchday 2 in Group E.
Domestically, the Ukrainians have played well. After nine matches, Vorskla sit in fourth place in the Ukrainian Premier Liha table. The Zeleno-Bili have won five games and have scored nine goals in as many matches. Moreover, they have won all of their home games this season, and they have outscored their opponents at home by a scoreline of six to three.
Their away form, however, has hurt them this season. Of their opening nine matches in the 2018/19 Ukrainian Premier Liha season, they won one match and lost four. What is more concerning is their inability to score while on the road, as they lost by a scoreline of eight to two.
In addition, the Ukrainians were hammered by English club Arsenal on their opening day of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage, as they lost 4-2. The score humbled the visitors, as their two goals came in the dying minutes of the match. In other words, it was a poor performance by the travelling team.
Now, as they prepare for their second match in Group E, the Ukrainians will hope to bounce back in their European contention as they host Portuguese club Sporting CP.
Sporting have had similar success in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, although they have played in fewer matches. Having played five matches, the Verde e Brancos have won three, drawn once and lost once. During this period, they scored seven goals while conceding four.
Outside of their domestic competition, the Portuguese club won its first match in the League Cup Group D (where they sit in first), and they comfortably overcame Azerbaijani side Qarabağ FK in their opening match in the UEFA Europa League’s Group E. In other words, they have fared well in their current cup competitions.
Given their strong performance at the start of the season, Sporting CP will look for their second victory in as many matches as they travel to Ukraine on Matchday 2.
Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting CP – Players to Watch:
Volodymyr Chesnakov #17 – Vorskla Poltava
The Ukrainian captain was partially to blame in his side’s bludgeoning by Arsenal on Matchday 1. Looking to bounce back on Matchday 2, the midfielder and make-shift centre-back will look to inspire his side against a difficult Sporting CP side. A victory would certainly help his side keep pace in Group E.
Nani #17 – Sporting CP
One of Portugal’s most well-known footballers, the midfielder has played his fair share of football throughout the European continent. Having spent the majority of his career at Manchester United, the Portuguese has become a team leader and is very reliable player on the field. Given his experience, it is likely he will try to take control of the midfield, and thus will attempt to help his side overcome their Ukrainian opposition.
Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting CP – Match Stats
- This will be the first time the two clubs have faced one another in a European competition.
- Vorskla Poltava’s previous appearance in the UEFA Europa League came during the 2011/12 season. They failed to advance out of the Group Stage, where they finished fourth.
- During the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League season, Sporting CP advanced to the quarter-finals. They were eliminated by Atlético Madrid, the competition’s eventual winners.
- Vorskla Poltava are without Denys Vasin and Aleksandr Kobakhidze, who are both sidelined through injury.
- Sporting CP also have a series of injuries, as Bruno César, Bas Dost, Wendel, Jérémy Mathieu and Stefano Sturaro are unavailable for this match.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting CP – 1-2
Vorskla Poltava vs Sporting CP – Lineups
Shust – Perduta, Dallku, Chesnakov, Artur – Serhiychuk, Kravchenko, Sharpar, Rebenok – Kulach – Kolomoyets
Manager: Vasyl Sachko
Salin – Ristovski, Pinto, Coates, Acuña – Petrović, Battaglia – Nani, Fernandes, Raphinha – Montero
Mark Temnycky reports on the Ukrainian men’s national team and Ukrainian clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Outside of the Futbolgrad Network, he covers Manchester City for SB Nation’s Bitter and Blue. Follow him @MTem33