Europa: Kayode Out, Henty Eyes Debut; Simon’s Gent, Everton, Milan Chase Play-Off Spots

Europa: Kayode Out, Henty Eyes Debut; Simon’s Gent, Everton, Milan Chase Play-Off Spots

By Johnny Edward:

Kayode Olanrewaju will miss Austria Wien's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg clash at home to AEL Limassol at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Olanrewaju scored five goals and provided three assists in 12 appearances in the Europa League last season.

According to his club coach Thorsten Fink, the Nigerian international is not fully fit.

"Larry Kayode will not be available on Thursday. He still does not feel very fit. He is not quite ready for tomorrow," Fink said during his pre-match conference.

Nigerian striker Ezekiel Henty will make his Europa League debut for his Hungarian side Videoton FC in Thursday's UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first leg clash away clash against French side Bordeaux. 

Henty, who joined the Hungarian league runners-up last season on a three-year deal from Locomotiv Moscow, was part of the 20-man squad that checked into the team's hotel close to the Matmut Atlantique Stadium.

The 24-year-old believes that his team can cause an upset Thursday night having edged out Nõmme Kalju 4-1 on aggregate in the previous round.

"In five games we are unbeaten and that momentum can help us fare well against Bordeaux," he told Completesportsnigeria.com.

"We had a video session on Tuesday, and the manager showed us what we need to look out for in Thursday's game. We will not be the favourites in Thursday's game, but we always go out to the pitch to win matches.

"The game will not be easy, but if we can play our own game and remain focused, we can beat anyone. I would not be unsatisfied with a draw. We will start the tie away from home, but at this level, it will not really have an effect, although it is a slight advantage. I have played several big games and the game against Bordeaux would be in the top three most important matches." 

In Sweden, Alhaji Gero's Oestersunds FK will be desperate to return to winning ways after losing 3-0 to Djurgården in a Swedish League game last Sunday when they take on CS Fola Esch from Luxembourg. 

Oestersunds FK  dumped out former Turkish champions Galatasaray 3-1 on aggregate in the previous round.

Gero has scored twice in 15 appearances in all competitions this season.

Polish side Arka Gdynia will be wary of the threat FC Midtjylland from Denmark pose with the Nigeria pair of Riliwan Hassan and Paul Onuachu leading the attack. Onuachu has scored four goals in his last four appearances in the competition.

Both players have been key to the former Danish champions' impressive run in this competition having dispatched Ferencváros 7-3 on aggregate.

In Belgium, Moses Simon, Anderson Esiti and Samuel Kalu are expected to feature for Gent who host Austrian side Altach while Joseph Akpala traveled with the rest of his Oostende teammates for their clash against Olympique Marseille.

In other fixtures, Everton play host to Slovakian side Ružomberok,  Athletic Club will face Romania's Dinamo București, Fenerbahçe tackle Austria's Sturm Graz and Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv are away to Zenit for the first leg.

AC Milan, making a return back to the competition after three years, visit Romanian team CSU Craiova as PSV host Croatia's Osijek.

The winners of the third qualifying round ties proceed to the play-offs, which is followed by spots in the group stage.


UEFA Europa League third qualifying round first-leg fixtures

Aberdeen (SCO) v Apollon Limassol (CYP)

AEK Larnaca (CYP) v Dinamo Minsk (BLR)

AIK (SWE) v Braga (POR) 

Arka Gdynia (POL) v Midtjylland (DEN)

Astra Giurgiu (ROU) v Olexandriya (UKR)

Austria Wien (AUT) v AEL Limassol (CYP)

Bordeaux (FRA) v Videoton (HUN) 

Botev Plovdiv (BUL) v Marítimo (POR)

Brøndby (DEN) v Hajduk Split (CRO)

Crvena zvezda (SRB) v Sparta Praha (CZE)

CSU Craiova (ROU) v AC Milan (ITA) 

Dinamo București (ROU) v Athletic Club (ESP)

Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v Odd (NOR)

Everton (ENG) v Ružomberok (SVK)

Freiburg (GER) v Domžale (SVN)

Gent (BEL) v Altach (AUT)

Krasnodar (RUS) v Lyngby (DEN)

Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) v Panionios (GRE)

Marseille (FRA) v Oostende (BEL)

Mladá Boleslav (CZE) v Skënderbeu (ALB)

Olimpik Donetsk (UKR) v PAOK (GRE)

Östersund (SWE) v Fola Esch (LUX)

Panathinaikos (GRE) v Gabala (AZE)

PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Osijek (CRO)

Sturm Graz (AUT) v Fenerbahçe (TUR)

Sūduva (LTU) v Sion (SUI)

Trakai (LTU) v Shkëndija (MKD)

Utrecht (NED) v Lech Poznań (POL)

Zenit (RUS) v Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv (ISR)

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