Destination Cyprus!
14.08.2017, Redakce

Destination Cyprus!

PRAGUE/VÁCLAV HAVEL AIRPORT - Slavia took off for the first leg of UEFA Champions League Play-off. The red & whites play in Nicosia on Tuesday at 8:45 pm (CET).

The manager will need to make an important change in his squad in compare to Jihlava game on Friday. Centre-back Simon Deli did not recover from his injury and does not travel with the team. Also Jasmin Ščuk and Marko Alvir stay in Prague, in contrary, Jan Sýkora and Jakub Hromada both recovering from their injuries travel with the team.

Šilhavý: Group stage is our ambition

Also new reinforcements Miroslav Stoch and Eduard Sobol departed for Nicosia, Slavia will decide later in the evening who of them will be added to the UCL Play-off squad. “We have time until midnight to add one of them,” manager Jaroslav Šilhavý confirmed.

“Qualification into the group stage is clearly our ambition. But the match on Cyprus in only a first half. I believe we can bring a good result and then fight for the qualification home. It would be really helpful if we could score but we will try to achieve the best possible result,” Slavia manager added.

First leg will be played away in Nicosia, is that a positive message? “I don’t want to say that this is some kind of advantage. But would the first leg not go on well, it is always better to chase the opponent home. But I believe that we will make a good result,” Šilhavý concluded.

Souček: We need to play as a team

“We expect high temperatures, about ten degrees more than in Prague. But we have also had really hot summer recently. We have been preparing for the heat, we drink a lot and I hope we can all handle this,” midfielder Tomáš Souček said.

“APOEL have many players from Spain, Brazil, Portugal, they like to play a lot with the ball. We need to manage it as a team. We want to score and, what is important, not to concede. We would like to leave Cyprus with a win. 2-0 will do,” Souček added.

Rotaň: Champions League would be present for our fans

“We have been studying APOEL thoroughly and it is a very good team. But the better opponent the more interesting game to come. They have many foreign players from Portugal, Brazil or Spain and they are well technically equipped,” Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Rotaň said.

Slavia won their last game against Jihlava but it is 10 years since their last qualification into the group stage of Champions league. The red & whites have never been so close since 2007. “With Jihlava it was the league game. Something different. Now there is extremely important Champions League game ahead and everybody focuses on this match. The Champions League is the biggest motivation. We would like to give the group stage as a present to our fans and we will do everything to qualify,” Rotaň added.


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