Europa League Preview: Derry City -v- Dinamo Minsk

Thu, Jul 12 2018

Dinamo were narrow 2-1 wiinners when they faced St Patrick's Athletic in 2016. Credit: Tom Beary

DERRY CITY

The Candystripes will play their first European tie at the redeveloped Brandywell Stadium as they welcome Dinamo Minsk to the Lonemoor Road venue on Thursday (kick-off 6pm).

Derry competed in last year’s Europa League qualifiers, losing 10-2 on aggregate to Danish side Midtjylland.

Derry had to play their home leg at the Sligo Showgrounds, home of Sligo Rovers, due to ongoing work at the Brandywell.

Kenny Shiels’ men returned to winning ways as they came from behind to beat Limerick at home on Friday night.

A second-half strike from new boy Ally Roy was enough to give his new team a much needed win.

Dean Shiels, son of manager Kenny, looks set to make his debut after a suspension carried over from his time in Scotland left him unavailable for selection on Friday night.

Although they enter the game as relative outsiders, the Foylesiders will go in search of a positive result ahead of next week’s second leg tie out in Minsk.

"Nicky Low is definitely out and Gavin Peers is a doubt but the new lads who have come in will all make the squad," said Kenny Shiels.
 
"Thankfully it is different this season than last- the first game is a bit later this time so players signed early in July are available."
 
"While we will miss Nicky's quality and energy in the middle of the pitch, I think we have good cover now that the new players have come in. Ally (Roy) and Aaron (Splaine) fitted in really well against Limerick at the weekend and Ben Fisk has looked really lively in his games so far. Dean Shiels will come into the squad now as well so I hope that will give us some options that we may have been missing."
 
"Dinamo Minsk are a quality side and we definitely have our work cut out in both games. I will be asking a lot of the players to ensure that we do everything we can to make this a memorable occasion."
 
"I just really hope that our supporters do everything they can to back us."

DINAMO MINSK

The Belarussian side come into the game off the back of a seven game unbeaten league run.

Dinamo were in league action on Saturday beating city rivals, Torpedo Minsk 1-0 courtesy Khvashchynski Uladzimir strike ten minutes from time.

They currently sit in second spot in their domestic league behind Bate Borisov, who are no strangers to European football. After 15 league games they have ten wins, four losses and one draw.

Belarus native Sergei Gurenko manages the side and will look to advance one step further than last season and reach the Europa League qualifiers.

Dinamo Minsk last made the Europa League group stages back in the 2015/2016 season finishing bottom of group that included; Villarreal, Rapid Wien and Victor Plzen.

Minsk are no strangers to playing here in Ireland, having beaten Bohemians on away goals to knock the Dalymount men out of the 1997 UEFA Cup.

They returned to Dublin back in the 2016/2017 season to knock St.Patrick’s Athletic out 2-1 on aggregate.

Their last league title came back in 2004, while they haven’t claimed the cup since 2003 despite coming runner-up in both competitions numerous times over the years.

 

Referee: Nikola Popov (Bulgaria)

 

MATCH STATS

Dinamo Minsk became the second team from Belarus to qualify for the Europa League group stages in the 2014/2015 season.

Minsk have played 96 UEFA Cup/Europa League games winning 37, losing 37 and drawing 22.

Derry’s last European game saw them lose 10-2 on aggregate to Danish side, Midtjylland.

The Candystripes last European game at the Brandywell was also against Belarussian opposition as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

 

BETTING

Derry City; 9/2 Draw; 13/5 Dinamo Minsk; 4/7

PREDICTION

Derry City 0-3 Dinamo Minsk

 

Derry City

Injured: Nicky Low.

Doubtful: Gavin Peers.

Suspended: Unknown.

 

Dinamo Minsk

Injured: Unknown.

Doubtful: Unknown.

Suspended: Unknown.