Date: July 31, 2014
Venue: Shakhter Stadium – Karagandy, Kazakhstan
Kick-off Time: 17:00 BST
Shakhter Karagandy will be hosting Hajduk Split in the first leg of the third round of the Europa League Qualifier. Last season Shakhter made history by becoming the first club from Kazakhstan to ever qualify for a European competition, by making it to the Europa League. They ended up finishing 4th in their group, and they will hope to push further ahead now.
Having no history of previous encounters, the two squads will surely do everything in their power to secure a victory versus their opponents,
Shakhter Karagandy’s Form
In decent form, the Kazakh side will hope to continue on their solid campaign thus far in the league, where they are locked in for a title run, they sit in 4th place, five points off of first. Shakhter no doubt will want to continue their momentum from the past season, where they qualified for the Europa League, but will face a very difficult task in hand.
Seen as the underdog by many, Shakhter will look to impress, and shut the mouth of their critics.
Hajduk Split’s Form
Horrid form thus far, they have failed to impress in their first 4 competitive fixtures, struggling to maintain a consistent brand of football, the Croatian side sits 3rd from the bottom in the league, after the first couple of fixtures.
No doubt will they look to pick up their form, and Shakhter may be the side to do it against, after Hajduk is highly touted by many to win the fixture.
Key Players and Team News
Shakhter Karagandy: Mihret Topcagic
Shakhter’s top scorer Topcagic will look to get on the scoresheet for his side, if they are to have a chance to get past Hajduk.
After being asked to stop their Animal slaughtering ritual by Uefa last season, it would be interesting to see the morale of the players, especially if superstition plays a part for them.
Hajduk: Anton Maglica
Hajduk’s top scorer last season, will look to get into form, and add that goal scoring punch, he provided them with last season.
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