Preview: Slavia Prague vs. Zorya Luhansk

Preview: Slavia Prague vs. Zorya Luhansk

Czech side Slavia Prague welcome Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk to Fortuna Arena on Thursday evening as the Europa League playoffs get underway.

The hosts have avoided defeat in each of their seven matches across all competitions this season, while the visitors have made an indifferent start to the 2023-24 campaign.

Slavia Prague head into the first leg on the back of a 1-0 victory over Banik Ostrava, meaning that Jindrich Trpisovsky’s men have taken maximum points from their opening five league matches this season.

As a result, the Red and Whites find themselves at the summit of the Czech Liga table – two points clear of arch-rivals Sparta Prague – having conceded just two goals while keeping three clean sheets.

Funnily enough, Slavia Prague came up against another Ukrainian club in the previous round of Europa League qualifying, securing a comfortable 4-1 aggregate win against Dnipro-1.

Having picked up six wins and one draw across seven outings this term – scoring 12 goals while conceding on only three occasions – the Slavists will be confident of maintaining their hot streak on Thursday.

Zorya Luhansk, meanwhile, played out a goalless draw with FC Oleksandriya in their previous match, as Nenad Lalatovic’s side failed to register a single attempt on target last weekend.

Consequently, Luhansk occupy 10th place in the Ukrainian Premier League after four games, having taken four points from a possible 12 this term, but they appear to have turned the corner following back-to-back defeats at the beginning of the season.

The Ukrainian outfit qualified for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 editions of the Europa League, although they managed to win just two of their 12 group games during those campaigns, suffering eight defeats in the process.

Zorya Luhansk find themselves in the Europa League playoffs thanks to a third-placed finish in the Ukrainian Premier League last season, and Lalatovic’s men will be determined to improve on the club’s previous performances in European competition.

Slavia Prague Europa League form:

Slavia Prague form (all competitions):

Zorya Luhansk form (all competitions):

We say: Slavia Prague 2-0 Zorya Luhansk
Given that Slavia Prague have won six of their seven matches this season – keeping four clean sheets along the way – we expect the hosts to notch a healthy first-leg lead on Thursday, with Zorya Luhansk expected to struggle.

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