Nigerian players and a coach are raring to go with their respective European clubs in the Play-off Round of the 2020/2021 Europa League, looking to qualify for the league stage of the UEFA’s second most prestigious club competition after the October 1 clashes, Completesports.com reports.
Rangers versus Galatasaray is primed to set the tone as three Super Eagles players could be in action. It will be the duo of Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun hosting Oghenekaro Etebo at the Ibrox Stadium on October 1.
Aribo was not available, due to injury, while Balogun was an unused substitute, when the Steven Gerrard’s team mauled Dutch side Willem II 4-0 in their Third Qualifying Round match on Thursday. But both are expected to work hard and be in ship shape for decisive Play-off clash with Etebo and company.
Etebo, a loanee from Stoke City, made his debut for Turkish SuperLig side, Galatasaray, in 2-0 win against Croatian side, Hajduk Split, on Thursday.
Super Eagles’ fringe midfielder, Ramon Azeez, is also expected work hard and earn a berth in coach Diego Martinez’s squad when they face Swedish giants Malmo FF in the play-off . The Nigerian was not in the coach’s matchday squad when Granada defeated Lokomotive Tbilisi 2-0 on Thursday. Malmo spanked NK Lokomotiva 5-0 in their Third Qualifying Round match.
Malmo FF will be at home to Granada at the Eleda Stadium (SwedBank Stadium) in Malmo on October 1.
Nigerian coach , Ndubuisi Egbo, will lead Albanian side KF Tirana when they clash with home side Young Boys of Switzerland at Stade de Suisse in Bern in their Play-off game also on October 1.
Egbo’s club dropped down to the Europa League after Serbian side, Red Star Belgrade, knock them out of the Champions League. They lost 1-0 to the Serbians at the Air Albania Stadium in the Second Qualifying Round for the league stage of UEFA’s elite club competition.
The duo of Yusuf Otubanjo and Louis Ogana will look to help Ararat Armedia, beat Red Star Belgrade at home in their Play-off clash at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan . They featured in the Armenian club’s 1-0 win against Celje in the Third Qualifying Round.
Red Star Belgrade dropped down to the Europa League after Cypriot side, AC Omonia, knocked them out in the Third Qualifying Round of the Champions League.
Finnish club, KUPs, could have two Nigerian players, Usman Sale and Aniekpeno Udoh, when they clash with CFR Cluj of Romania. Sale and Aniekpeno were in action when KUPs pipped Lithuanian side, Suduva, 2-0 to advance to the Play-off.
Samuel Adegbenro’s Norwegian club, Rosenborg, will host Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven, in the October 1 Play-off fixtures. The Nigerian winger helped Rosenborg beat Turkish side, Alanyaspor, 1-0 in the previous round.
The winners of the Play-off Round games will play in the league stage of the 2020/2021 Europa League.
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