UEL: Boniface, Dessers, Akpom begin Europa quest

By Daily Sports Nigeria on September 22, 2023

Super Eagles forward, Victor Boniface, will be aiming to replicate his outstanding performance of last season’s campaign in the Europa League with Bayer Leverkusen who get their group-stage campaign underway with a home fixture against Swedish champions Hacken on Thursday (today) at the Bay Arena, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Boniface finished as joint-top scorer of the Europa League last season alongside Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford with six goals in 10 games – a haul that formed part of his 22 strikes and 12 assists in 55 competitive appearances for Union Saint Gilliose.

The 22-year-old, who arrived from Belgian side Royal Union Saint Gilliose in the summer, will be determined to transfer his impressive form onto the European stage after netting five goals with two assists across all competitions this term.

The Nigerian forward will look to showcase his scoring form in the encounter after failing to score for the second time this season for Bayer Leverkusen. He fired blanks against RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich.

At the Ibrox stadium, Cyriel Dessers, is expected to lead Glasgow Rangers attack in the absence of injured Danilo when the Gers face Real Betis.

Dessers has contributed two goals and three assists in nine games for Rangers since his arrival this summer and will aim to break his duck in the competition in front Gers of the fans as well as end his five game goals drought in all competition. The 28-year-old has played three times in the competition without a goal.

Chuba Akpom will also seek to make his fourth appearance in the competition when Ajax host Olympique Marseille at Johan Cruijff Arena. The 27-year-old has made only two substitute appearances since he joined the Dutch club from Middlesbrough in the summer.

Ajax won their opening Europa League qualifying tie, beating Ludogorets 4-2 on aggregate in the play-offs. Since then, they are winless in their last three games in all competitions recording a draw and two losses.

At Gewiss Stadium, in Italy, Ademola Lookman is in line to make his eighth appearance in the competition when Atalanta takes on Rakow Czestochowa who will put their unbeaten run on the line.

Atalanta are playing their first match of the European season. It’s their first appearance in European competition since losing in the 2021/2022 Europa League quarter-finals against RB Leipzig.

The 25-year-old, who was on target for Atalanta in their 3-2 defeat to Fiorentina last Sunday will hope to build on his new found form by notching his third goal in the competition.

Source Punch Ng

Posted September 22, 2023


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