UEFA Europa Conference League - 2021/22 SeasonMatch press kits
|ŠK Slovan Bratislava||Národný futbalový štadión - BratislavaThursday 21 October 2021|
21.00CET (21.00 local time) Group F - Matchday 3
|Lincoln Red Imps FC|
Slovan Bratislava and Lincoln Red Imps have work to do in UEFA Europa Conference League Group F as the champions of Slovakia and Gibraltar meet for the third time in 2021/22, their Matchday 3 encounter coming a little over two months after the teams locked horns in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
• While Slovan picked up their first Group F point with a 1-1 draw at PAOK last time out, following an opening 1-3 reverse at FC Copenhagen, Lincoln have lost both matches – 0-2 at home to PAOK and 1-3 in Copenhagen.
• Slovan were the victors in that August UEFA Europa League qualifier, winning 3-1 away and drawing 1-1 at home. Winger Jaromír Zmrhal had a hand in all four Slovan goals, scoring two and setting up the others for Guram Kashia and Ezekiel Henty.
• Those were Lincoln's first UEFA encounters with Slovakian opposition, Slovan having previously met the Red Imps' domestic rivals Europa FC – and beaten them 9-0 on aggregate (6-0 a, 3-0 h) – in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League first qualifying round, their one previous tie with a team from Gibraltar. The first leg win remains Slovan's biggest away from home in European competition.
• A second successive Slovakian league and cup double was Slovan's reward for a dominant domestic season in 2020/21, which counterbalanced eliminations on entry in the qualifying phase of both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, to KÍ of the Faroe Islands and KuPS of Finland respectively.
• UEFA Europa League group stage participants three times previously, Slovan are Slovakia's first representatives in the UEFA Europa Conference League proper. The start of their 2021/22 European campaign, under former Slovakia and Georgia head coach Vladimír Weiss, featured an aggregate victory and defeat in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League – against, respectively, Shamrock Rovers (3-2) and Young Boys (2-3) in the former and Lincoln and Olympiacos (2-5) in the latter.
• Slovan have won none of their last four European games in Bratislava (D3 L1) and have lost eight out of ten at home in group stage fixtures (W1 D1).
• As domestic double winners, for the 16th time, in 2020/21, the Red Imps entered this season in the UEFA Champions League, and won their opening qualifying tie against Luxembourg's Fola Esch (2-2 a, 5-0 h). However, subsequent defeats by CFR Cluj (1-2 h, 0-2 a) and, in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, Slovan sent them into the UEFA Europa Conference League play-offs, where they made history as Gibraltar's first group stage participants by eliminating Latvian champions Riga after extra time (1-1 a, 3-1 h).
• Prior to this season the record champions of Gibraltar (25 league titles) had never progressed beyond the second qualifying round of either European competition, going out to Rangers (0-5 h) at that stage of last season's UEFA Europa League.
• The Red Imps' overall away record in UEFA competition is W1 D3 L10, the one win coming against FC Santa Coloma of Andorra (2-1) six years ago in their second European campaign. They have failed to win any of their last 12 European matches on the road, though the three draws have all come this season.
Links and trivia
• Gibraltar's first ever UEFA-recognised international match was a 0-0 draw against Slovakia in Faro/Loulé on 19 November 2013. Four current Lincoln players – Scott Wiseman, Joseph Chipolina, Roy Chipolina and Liam Walker – started the game, with Jack Sergeant appearing as a substitute.
• Slovan midfielder Jaba Kankava has scored twice for Georgia in UEFA European Championship qualifying wins away to Gibraltar – 3-0 in Faro/Loulé on 14 October 2014 and 3-2 at Gibraltar's Victoria Stadium on 15 October 2019.
• Lincoln are one of eight clubs making their debut appearance in a UEFA group stage this season; the others – one in each group – are Alashkert (Group A), Flora Tallinn (B), Bodø/Glimt (C), Randers (D), Union Berlin (E), Mura (G) and Kairat (H).