Three Nigerian stars to shine when Feyenoord, Slavia Prague clash

Sports

Slavia Prague and Feyenoord on Thursday (today) will face off in the first leg of the Europa Conference League quarter-finals in de Kuip, Rotterdam.

Four Nigerian stars could be paraded from kickoff, with Slavia featuring winger trio Peter Olayinka, midfielder Ubong Moses Ekpai and youngster Yira Sor. At the same time, Feyenoord had Cyriel Dessers in their group.

The Czech Republic champions and the Eredivisie side are no strangers, having met twice previously in the campaign during the group stages, with Olayinka and Dessers making their mark.

Olayinka scored Slavia’s opener while Dessers scored both of Feyenoord’s goals as the teams drew 2-2 at the Sinobo Stadium in November. Feyenoord won 2-1 in the first leg at home.

Sor, 21, only joined Slavia from Banik Ostrava in January, but his pace and goal-scoring prowess has made him tailor-made for the European circuit.

The 36th academy product Lion FC has scored five goals and provided two assists in four continental matches, scoring twice against Fenerbahce in the first knockout stages and scoring three of Slavia’s seven goals in a 7-5 aggregate win over Austria’s LASK Linz in the Round of 16 Big .

Super Eagles winger Olayinka has added three Conference League goals and one assist to his side’s struggles, and he could be a little more for Feyenoord to handle.

And Czech football analyst Ondrej Zlámal expects the two Nigerian forwards to become one of Slavia’s key players in the Netherlands.

“He (Sor) is fast and very dangerous in front of goal,” Zlámal told VoetbalPrimeur.

“Feyenoord should be especially wary of Sor. With Alexander Bah, Slavia have a right-back that Sor likes to support in attack, as well as left midfielder Peter Olayinka.”

At Cyriel Dessers, Feyenoord have an ace of their own, with former Heracles star Almelo contributing seven goals (6 goals, one assist) in eight Conference League games.

And with Slavia set to lose their first-choice centre-back pair through suspension, Dessers could have a stress-free day against the visitors’ emergency defence.

Zlámal noted: “The Feyenoord team is the biggest danger for Slavia, but Dessers will definitely receive more attention in discussions with coach Jindrich Trpisovský after his double stroke.”

The 47,500-seater Feyenoord (De Kuip) Stadium will host the first leg, while the second leg is scheduled for next week at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague.