Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Europa League clash between FC Pyunik and Sheriff Tiraspol, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
FC Pyunik will entertain the challenge of Sheriff Tiraspol in the first leg of their Europa League playoffs at the Republican Stadium on Thursday.
Both sides were beaten in the third round of the Champions League playoffs and will now have to settle for a place in Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Having suffered defeat in their previous league outing, FC Pyunik claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over Shirak Gyumri in Saturday afternoon’s meeting.
Off the back of a relatively uneventful opening 45 minutes, Artak Dashyan broke the deadlock right on the hour mark to hand Yegishe Melikyan‘s men all three points.
Prior to that, the Yerevan-based outfit were beaten 2-0 by Red Star Belgrade, which completed a 7-0 rout over the two legs of the sides’ Champions League qualifying tie.
Next up for them is the task of facing off against an opposing outfit who are unbeaten in the previous two meetings between the teams which both came back in 2020.
Looking to move on from their recent European disappointment, Thursday’s hosts now set out to secure a positive result on their own turf where they only just ended a four-match winless streak last time out.
Sheriff Tiraspol made it consecutive league wins by seeing off the threat of Dinamo Auto in a routine 2-0 triumph at the Stadionul Sheriff on Sunday.
Iyayi Atiemwen opened the scoring for Stjepan Tomas‘s men on the cusp of half time after which Abou Ouattara put the game to bed in second-half stoppage time.
That was a perfect response from The Wasps who suffered a second straight 2-1 loss to Viktoria Plzen last Tuesday when their Champions League hopes came crashing down.
Having recently suffered a first away defeat since February in their last outing on the road, Thursday’s visitors will be looking to bounce back on the road.
FC Pyunik form (all competitions):
Sheriff Tiraspol form (all competitions):
Stefanos Evangelou received his marching orders in Sheriff’s 2-1 defeat to Plzen, and the defender will miss Thursday’s game through suspension.
Despite not featuring in his side’s league triumph over the weekend, Stjepan Radeljic is the favorite to replace Evangelou in the starting XI for this one.
After coming off the bench to grab the winning goal for FC Pyunik against Shirak Gyumri, Artak Dashyan could be rewarded with a place in the lineup here.
Latest arrival Aleksandar Miljkovic was handed his debut for the home side in the aforementioned game, and the Serb is in line to feature once again.
FC Pyunik possible starting lineup:
Buchnev; Miljkovic, Juricic, Avagyan, Bratkov; Cociuc, Dashyan, Gonzalez; Kovalenko, Juninho, Otubanjo
Sheriff Tiraspol possible starting lineup:
Abalora; Renan, Kiki, Redaljic, Kpozo; Lushkja, Kyabou, Badolo; Pernambuco, Tejan, Akanbi
We say: FC Pyunik 1-1 Sheriff Tiraspol
Following their Champions League failures, both sides will be keen to make it up to their supporters with a place in the Europa League, so we expect an end-to-end affair here. We can also see the teams matching each other over the course of the game, resulting in honors even at the end of the 90 minutes.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:date