UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|Sivasspor||Yeni 4 Eylül Stadyumu - SivasThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (20.55 local time) Group I - Matchday 2
|Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC|
Fresh from an exhilarating yet ultimately deflating introduction to the UEFA Europa League proper, Sivasspor will be eager to get off the mark in Group I as they welcome Maccabi Tel-Aviv to central Turkey.
• The Süper Lig side valiantly came from behind to equalise twice against Villarreal on Matchday 1 only to end up on the wrong end of a 5-3 scoreline that equalled the record for the most goals in a UEFA Europa League group game. Maccabi, meanwhile, were content to score just once, through midfielder Yonatan Cohen, as they claimed three points from their opening fixture at home to Qarabağ.
• Sivasspor have never met a club from Israel in UEFA competition, whereas Maccabi have yet to register a victory in six matches against teams from Turkey (D2 L4). Their only previous such encounters in the UEFA Europa League group stage were defeats against Beşiktaş in 2011/12 (1-5 a, 2-3 h).
• Sivasspor finished fourth in the 2019/20 Turkish Süper Lig to qualify directly for the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they are making their debut, becoming the ninth different club from Turkey to play in the competition proper.
• This is only Sivasspor's third experience of European competition. UEFA Intertoto Cup participants in 2008, where they beat Grbalj and lost to Braga, they qualified for the UEFA Champions League in 2009/10 as Süper Lig runners-up but lost their third qualifying round tie to Anderlecht (0-5 a, 3-1 h) before suffering the same fate in the UEFA Europa League play-offs against Shakhtar Donetsk (0-3 h, 0-2 a).
• The Turkish club have won two and lost two of their European home games.
• Maccabi made up for a disappointingly brief European campaign last season – eliminated on entry in the qualifying phase of both competitions – by retaining their Israeli league title in style to make it 23 championship wins in all. A third appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage beckoned this term after they won qualifying ties against Riga (2-0 h), Sūduva (3-0 a) and Dinamo Brest (1-0 h), but they met their match in the play-offs, losing both legs to Salzburg (1-2 h, 1-3 a).
• The Israeli champions are therefore making their fifth appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have only progressed to the knockout phase once before, in 2013/14, and struggled in particular on their most recent appearance, in 2017/18, failing to score in their first five matches before signing off with a consolation 1-0 win at Villarreal.
• Maccabi's away record in the UEFA Europa League proper is W3 D2 L7. Since that victory at Villarreal they have played eight European away fixtures, all in the qualifying phase, and won just one (D3 L4), this season's success at Sūduva ending a run of three straight defeats.
Links and trivia
• Sivasspor's on-loan Nigerian striker Olarenwaju Kayode, a goalscorer on Matchday 1, played in Israel for Maccabi Netanya. He won promotion in his first season, 2013/14, and scored 13 goals in the top flight in his second, three of them against Maccabi Tel-Aviv (one in a 3-1 away defeat, two in a 3-3 home draw).
• Sivasspor midfielder Serhiy Rybalka played for Dynamo Kyiv in both of their victories against Maccabi in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage (2-0 a, 1-0 h).
• Ghanaian midfielder Isaac Cofie joined Sivasspor in 2019 from Spanish Segunda División side Sporting Gijón, where he was a team-mate of Maccabi loanee Nick Blackman.
• Sivasspor are one of six clubs making their UEFA Europa League debut in 2020/21, the others being CSKA-Sofia (Group A), Granada and Omonoia (E), Leicester City (G) and Royal Antwerp (J).