UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|FC Zorya Luhansk||Zaporizhia CIty Stadium - ZaporizhiaThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (19.55 local time) Group G - Matchday 2
Zorya Luhansk will be hoping to put their first points on the board in UEFA Europa League Group G as they host Braga at the Slavutych Arena in Zaporizhia.
• While Zorya were falling to a 3-0 defeat on Matchday 1 at competition debutants Leicester City, their heaviest in UEFA competition, Braga won by the same score at home to AEK Athens, Galeno giving them a half-time lead before late strikes from Paulinho and Ricardo Horta sealed a comfortable opening victory.
• In the clubs' only previous UEFA contest Zorya knocked Braga out of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League in the third qualifying round, the away goals rule favouring the Ukrainian side after two draws (1-1 in Ukraine, 2-2 in Portugal).
• Those are Zorya's only two matches against Portuguese opposition, and the two draws mean that Braga are still seeking a first victory against Ukrainian opponents after ten unsuccessful attempts (D4 L6). Their record in Ukraine is D2 L3, the three defeats having all come against Shakhtar Donetsk, who are also responsible for Braga's three losses in Portugal.
• Third in the 2019/20 Ukrainian Premier League, Zorya are featuring in European competition for the seventh successive season. Defeated at the play-off stage of the UEFA Europa League in four of the six previous campaigns, including last season when, under current coach Viktor Skrypnyk, they were ousted by Espanyol (1-3 a, 2-2 h), their league placing earned them direct access to the group stage this term – as it did for their two previous participations, in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
• Zorya finished bottom of their group, on two points, in 2016/17 and third, with six points, the following season. They have yet to experience European football in the spring.
• Zorya are unbeaten in their last five European home fixtures (W2 D3) but have won only one of their six home matches in the UEFA Europa League group stage (D2 L3), 2-1 against Hertha Berlin in 2017/18.
• Braga's 16th European qualification in the last 17 years was achieved with a third-placed finish in the 2019/20 Portuguese Liga, a season in which they also topped their UEFA Europa League group undefeated ahead of Wolves, Slovan Bratislava and Beşiktaş before losing out to Rangers in the round of 32 (2-3 a, 0-1 h).
• The 2010/11 runners-up are competing in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the sixth time. They have gone through to the knockout phase in four of their previous five campaigns, winning their group on three occasions, including the last two.
• Braga were unbeaten in 13 European matches (W9 D4) until they lost twice to Rangers last spring. In the UEFA Europa League group stage their away record is W6 D6 L3, with victories in all three group fixtures outside Portugal last season.
Links and trivia
• Matchday 1 scorer Ricardo Horta found the net in both legs when Braga lost against Zorya in that 2018/19 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie.
• Carlos Carvalhal returned to Braga as head coach in August, 14 years after his first spell in charge. He coached ten other clubs in the interim but experienced just two European campaigns during that time, leading Sporting CP (2009/10) and Beşiktaş (2011/12) to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, where both were knocked out by eventual winners Atlético de Madrid.