Attempting to write a few short words as previews for these Europa League games against unknown sides is never easy, especially when the opposition is as obscure as F.C. Sheriff Tiraspol. The resources available to me to discover more about a team I sincerely hope are nicknamed the Tin Badgers are the same as to everyone else with a keyboard and a broadband connection but I suppose these paragraphs at least serve as something of a one-stop shop.
So first to Wiki where I’m immensely cheered up by the fact that Sheriff do indeed have a tin sheriff’s badge on their club crest. Awesome! They were apparently formed by the Sheriff Security company, hence the comedy appellation and emblem. Tiraspol is the capital of the ‘breakaway state of Transnistria’ though where they’re breaking away from isn’t specified, Moldova probably. Sheriff appear to be the giants of Moldovan football. Their average season consists of winning their league and probably the cup and being knocked out of the Moneybags and Europa Leagues in the early stages but not before they’ve made enough money to sign a Brazilian or two good enough to ensure they repeat the pattern next year. Their kit is a bumble bee yellow and black bright enough that even Walker shouldn’t lose his man (though obviously I had my fingers crossed whilst typing that).
I’ve not seen team news but imagine that we’ll rest a few of the players who’ve seen a lot of action lately and bring in at least some of those (Chadli, Lamela, Kane, Friedel, Defoe, Eriksen?) who need a game. It’ll be a decent team whatever degree of rotation AVB decides to throw into the mix and one that should come away with a comfortable victory with Defoe hopefully equalling or moving past Big Chiv’s European record.
Sheriff have drawn their two group games so far meaning that currently they sit proudly in second place. Three points for us would give us “one foot in the knock-out stages” as Clive Tyldesley would no doubt put it.
The match officials are from Israel. What price a bit of “Y-word” controversy I wonder?
I really hope we round up Derek Possee for the half-time “entertainment” in the home tie. COYS.
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