Levski Sofia goes on the offensive
Levski Sofia will take on Slovakian club Zilina on October 2 in the second leg of the UEFA Cup first round, with participation in the group stages of the tournament at stake. The match will be played at Gerena Stadium in Sofia and is expected to sell out.
Levski beat Lovech away 2-0 on September 27, which should put the players the right frame of mind for the cup tie. Coach Emil Velev insists they will go into the game with the intention of attacking from the beginning and slotting an early goal.
The team from the capital outplayed their hosts comfortably, perhaps gently suggesting their dormant potential. It was a refreshing change for the travelling Blues supporters who, until that point, had to witness one disappointing performance after another, both domestically and in Europe.
Former Levski defender, legendary Nikolai Iliev has told 7 Days Sport daily that, whatever happens, Levski must not dig in and defend the away goal from Slovakia. He believes Levski should go on the offensive and take control from early on.
He said: “It is unnerving for Velev to keep the selection a secret. It is distressing for the players themselves. He should announce if Georgi Ivanov will play and get his tactic sorted out properly. I am convinced that Joaozinho will play on the left, however I doubt the quality of Ze Soares as he is yet to deliver for the club. As far as the back four are concerned Levski desperately needs a good stopper.”
Meanwhile, for Bulgarian daily Meridian Match, Emil Velev has said that “Levski are ready to sting Zilina”. He refused, however, to disclose any details about the starting line-up or the tactical formation of the Blues.
“We must play well and go on the offensive. We will attack from kick off until the end. We will aim to score immediately and then score a second, but as you know, the match begins at 0-0”, Emil Velev added, explaining the rules of how football matches begin.
“We are not talking about money and bonuses just yet. This is not the local league, this is the UEFA Cup and we must give a concerted 120 per cent if we are to reach the group stages.”
The coach then went on to thank the supporters who came during the training sessions to cheer for his men.