Vorskla v Sporting CP facts

Vorskla are still seeking their first group stage win and take on Sporting CP, who were victorious on matchday one.

Vorskla scored twice at Arsenal on matchday one
Vorskla scored twice at Arsenal on matchday one ©Getty Images

Vorskla entertain Sporting CP in Poltava looking to break their duck in the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they have gone seven games without a win following their matchday one defeat at Arsenal. Their Portuguese visitors opened their campaign by defeating Qarabağ 2-0 in Lisbon.

Previous meetings
• Although they have never played Sporting, Vorskla have had two previous knockout ties against Portuguese sides, losing both. They did gain a memorable consolation 2-1 home win against Benfica in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League play-offs following a 4-0 first-leg loss in Lisbon.

• Sporting are unbeaten in three visits to Ukraine (W2 D1), adding to three wins out of three at home.

Form guide
Vorskla
• Vorskla secured a place in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage by finishing third in the 2017/18 Ukrainian Premier League – their joint-highest ever final placing, matching their achievement in 1996/97, when they qualified for Europe for the first time.

• This is the club's seventh European campaign and their second in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They had to win three qualifying ties to make the grade in 2011/12, including a play-off success against Dinamo Bucureşti, but their six group games yielded just two points and bottom place in a section featuring Standard Liège, Hannover and FC København.

Highlights: Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla
Highlights: Arsenal 4-2 Vorskla

• Vorskla have lost three of their last five European home fixtures, the one win during that sequence – 3-1 against Žilina in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round – proving in vain after a 0-2 first-leg defeat in Slovakia.

Sporting
• Sporting finished third in the 2017/18 Portuguese Liga. They suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Aves in the Portuguese Cup final, but nevertheless claimed a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• The Lisbon club have been regular participants in the UEFA Europa League since its inception in 2009/10, featuring in the competition proper in seven previous seasons and the group stage in five of those, most recently in 2015/16. Semi-finalists in 2011/12, they reached the quarter-finals last season after transferring from the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• While Sporting have only ever lost once at home in the UEFA Europa League group stage, their group record away from Lisbon is W5 D1 L9. Their last two European away fixtures – against Viktoria Plzeň and Atlético Madrid in last season's UEFA Europa League knockout phase – both ended in defeat.

Highlights: Sporting CP 2-0 Qarabağ
Highlights: Sporting CP 2-0 Qarabağ

Links and trivia
• Vorskla captain Volodymyr Chesnakov is the only current player who featured in the club's last meeting with a Portuguese side, the 2009 win at home to Benfica, although head coach Vasyl Sachko played a starring role that night, scoring one of Vorskla's goals.

• Sporting's presence in this season's UEFA Europa League means they share the record for the most participations in the competition, group stage to final, matching Ajax and Salzburg with eight.

The coaches
• A tall centre-forward, Vasyl Sachko played in the Ukrainian top flight for Volyn Lutsk and Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih before moving to Vorskla in 2008. He has been with the Poltava club ever since, four years as a player then two as assistant coach before taking on the head coach role in the summer of 2014. As a result of leading Vorskla to third place in Ukraine in 2017/18, he qualified the club for the UEFA Europa League group stage, of which he had a brief taste as a player in 2011/12.

• A UEFA Cup runner-up as Sporting CP coach in 2004/05, José Peseiro returned to the club in the summer of 2018 as the replacement for Jorge Jesus. A lower-league forward, he was Carlos Queiroz's assistant at Real Madrid prior to his first spell at Sporting and later took charge of several European and Middle Eastern clubs as well as coaching the Saudi Arabia national side from 2009–11. His last European involvement was with Braga in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League.

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