Sheriff v Lokomotiv Moskva background

Sheriff have been specialising in goalless draws in Europe this season, but may find a clean sheet hard to come by against Lokomotiv Moskva in Group F.

Sheriff goalkeeper Zvonimir Mikulić gets two hands on the ball
Sheriff goalkeeper Zvonimir Mikulić gets two hands on the ball ©AFP/Getty Images

Sheriff have been specialising in goalless draws in Europe this season, but may find a clean sheet hard to come by against section leaders Lokomotiv Moskva in UEFA Europa League Group F.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, but came together in the semi-finals of the 2003 Commonwealth of Independent States Cup – a competition for the champions of the former Soviet nations. Sheriff won 1-0 although Lokomotiv fielded a reserve team, with the seniors away from Moscow on a training camp.

• All four of Sheriff's previous UEFA games against Russian teams ended in draws, while Lokomotiv have not played a Moldovan side in a UEFA match before.

Highlights: Sheriff 0-0 København
Highlights: Sheriff 0-0 København

Form guide
• Sheriff are on a run of three consecutive 0-0 draws, and four draws in total; including UEFA Champions League qualifying, five of their last six ties in Europe this season have ended level (four of them 0-0).

• Lokomotiv are unbeaten in three in Europe (W1 D2), and – like Sheriff – have yet to concede in Group F.

• Moldovan champions Sheriff featured in the 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stages, but are still to appear in the spring phase of a UEFA competition.

• Lokomotiv are contesting the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage for a fifth time, and have failed just once to reach the round of 32 – finishing bottom of their group in 2007/08.

Highlights: Lokomotiv Moskva 3-0 Zlín
Highlights: Lokomotiv Moskva 3-0 Zlín

Trivia and links
• The journey from Moscow to Tiraspol is just over 1,100km.

• Sheriff defender Vitalie Bordian played for Lokomotiv from 2002–04 – without making a senior appearance – and later returned to Russia with Volga Nizhny Novgorod (2012–14).

• Lokomotiv's Manuel Fernandes scored the second hat-trick of the 2017/18 group stage on matchday two, hitting three in the opening 17 minutes against Zlín. It was the fifth fastest hat-trick in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.

• On-loan Lokomotiv forward Éder struck the extra-time winning goal for Portugal in the UEFA EURO 2016 final against France.

• Misses next match if booked: Ante Kulušić (Sheriff).

The coaches
• In charge of Sheriff since October 2016, Roberto Bordin is best known in his native Italy for his long career as a midfielder, taking in spells at Atalanta, Napoli and Piacenza. He was 40 when he finally hung up his boots at Spezia in 2005.

• Yuri Semin took charge of Lokomotiv for a fourth time in August 2016, having lifted the club's only two Russian titles during his second stint from 1992–2005. He also played for Loko from 1975–77, and coached Dynamo Kyiv to the 2008/09 Ukrainian championship.

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