Baku strengthen with Štolcers

The Latvian international striker Andrejs Štolcers is one of a number of high-profile signings made by FK Baku.

Štolcers signing
Baku, whose home tie is a week today with the return in Slovakia a fortnight later, have made a number of signing from home and abroad, most notably 31-year-old Latvia forward Andrejs Štolcers, once of FC Spartak Moskva and Fulham FC. He played at UEFA EURO 2004™ and joins from English lower-league club Yeovil Town FC, whom he helped to the fourth division championship last season.

Albanian duo
Also arriving from outside Azerbaijan are Georgia and FC Tbilisi goalkeeper Soso Grishikashvili and Albania and KS Teuta midfielder Suad Lici, both 31. Another Albanian, Alban Dragusha, joins from FC Vorskla Poltava in Ukraine.

Domestic movements
FK Karabakh's 29-year-old goalkeeper Rauf Mekhtiev has also been signed by the Azerbaijani Cup holders to replace Elshan Poladov, who has moved to PFK Turan Tovuz. Two of Mekhtiev's team-mates have followed him to Baku - 25-year-old left-winger Emin Imamaliyev and 33-year-old forward Vadim Vasilyev. On their way out are midfielder Aleksandr Chertoganov, joining PFC Neftchi, Ramin Nasibov and Eldaniz Mamedov.

Baku belief
Club vice-president Nail Aliyev said: "Our opponents are very strong but maybe that is for the best. Our squad are used to all kinds of problems and we know how to overcome them. We respect our opponents, but know our potential as well, so we believe we can succeed."