Maccabi Tel Aviv will shortly begin their journey in the Conference League Group stages (Tuesday, 17:30) as the first hurdle which they face is Alashkert. Before the curtain is raised on the new European competition, the time has come to have a more in depth introduction with the Armenian opponent that arrives at Bloomfield stadium.
The first Armenian club in a European group stage
Champions of Armenia for the fourth time last season, Alashkert set a new record by becoming the first ever Armenian side to qualify to a European group stage. The club from Yerevan reached that landmark after starting their European campaign in the Champions League qualifiers where they defeated Connah’s Quay of Wales. They were knocked out of the competition by Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol and crossed over to the EUROPA League before needing extra time to beat Kazakhstan’s Kairat Almaty to reach the Playoff. Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers won the first leg at Ibork 1-0 and a draw in Yerevan meant Armenian side would play in the Conference league.
A poor start in the league
As opposed to their European campaign, Alashkert began their domestic season in dismal form with a solitary point from their first four league matches. Just like Maccabi, Alashkert, played on Saturday and suffered a 3-2 defeat to Ararat Yerevan.
The forthcoming match will be staged at Bloomfield but throught the campaign Alashkert will host their Conference League matches at the Republican stadium in Yerevan. The venue is known to Maccabi as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Pyunik in the 2018/19 Europa League qualifying campaign.
System and key players
Alashkert are coached by Aleksandr Grigoryan as the 54-year-old Russian who was appointed last May is experienced having coached for many years in his native Russia. Tactically, the Armenian side normally plays in a 4-3-3 formation and opted for a 4-2-3-1 in the Europa League Playoffs.
Despite the fact this is an Armenian side, the squad is bolstered by many foreign players from Brazil, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, Bosnia, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Portugal and France.