Legia Warsaw vs Astana – Wednesday 19:45 BT/20:45 CET at Polish Army Stadium, Warsaw
Astana are 90 minutes away for qualifying for the group stage of a European competition for the third season in a row. The 3-1 victory over Legia Warsaw, last week in the first leg of the third round of UEFA Champions League qualification, will give the Kazakhs a significant advantage when the tie shifts to Poland on Wednesday.
Qualifying for the playoffs would guarantee Astana qualification for the group stage of the Europa League. But of course, they will have to get their first. Goals by Junior Kabananga (36th minute) and Ivan Mayewski (45th minute) gave Astana an early cushion. Armando Sadiku then scored for Legia in the 79th minute, and a 2-1 lead would have been a precarious position for Astana going into the second leg. Astana’s Patrick Twumasi, however, would score in the 94th minute to secure a 3-1 cushion before the second leg.
Legia Warsaw will now have to score two unanswered goals if they want to hope to go through to the next round. Not an easy proposition against a team that possesses a dangerous forward line. Astana also have the advantage that they are in midseason, which means that Kazakh club will have the better condition to go through to the next round.
Legia Warsaw vs Astana – Player to look out for:
Michal Kucharczyk #18 – Legia Warsaw
Michal Kucharczyk had an absolute standout game in the second leg of the second round of UEFA Champions League qualifying. Facing the Finnish side, IFK Mariehamn Kucharczyk scored two of the six goals that Legia put past Mariehamn’s goalkeeper. Technically a winger Kucharczyk has shown that he can also play as a single striker up front and he may very well have to fulfil that role against Astana in the third round of Champions League qualifying.
Laszlo Kleinheisler #6 – Astana
Signed from Werder Bremen this summer Kleinheisler was once deemed a major talent in Hungarian football. But Kleinheisler failed to make a lasting impression at Werder and then on loan at Darmstadt. A six-month loan to the Hungarian side Ferencvaros did not improve the situation either, and Werder were, therefore, happy to accept Astana’s loan deal offer this summer. At Astana Kleinheisler hopes to rebuild a career that once looked very promising.
Legia Warsaw vs Astana – Match Stats
- Astana eliminated Spartaks Jurmala from Latvia in the second stage of qualifying.
- Legia Warsawa eliminated IFK Marihamm from Finland with a 6-0 second leg victory.
- Astana and Warsaw are 3403 km apart.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Legia Warsaw vs Astana vs 1-1
Legia Warsaw vs Astana – Possible Lineups
Malarz – Hlousek, Pazdan, Dabrowski, Jedrzejczyk – Moulin, Maczynski – Nagy, Hämäläinen, Guilherme – Kucharczyk
Manager: Jacek Magiera
Mokin – Shomko, Anicic, Logvinenko, Shitov – Maevskiy, Kleinheisler, Grahovac – Muzhikov, Kabananga, Twumasi
Manager: Stanimir Stoilov
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.