SPL

Aberdeen star Bojan Miovski doubtful for Viaplay Cup final with hamstring issue

By Sports Desk December 13, 2023

Aberdeen top goalscorer Bojan Miovski remains at the centre of a fitness concern ahead of the Viaplay Cup final on Sunday.

Manager Barry Robson has not ruled the striker out of Thursday’s Europa Conference League game against Eintracht Frankfurt at Pittodrie. He played 77 minutes of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Hearts, scoring his 12th goal of the season.

But with no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages and silverware at stake against Rangers on Sunday, it appears inconceivable that the North Macedonia international would be risked against the German outfit.

Robson said: “We are still waiting on Bojan. We will see how he is in the morning when he gets up. Hopefully nothing too serious but we will make a decision on him on Thursday.

“It’s a hamstring issue. We will try to give him every opportunity. It’s not a serious injury. It’s not going to hold him back long term. It’s hours and days rather than weeks so we will see how he is in the morning.”

Robson made eight changes for the recent draw with HJK Helsinki and he looks set to shuffle his pack for the final European tie.

“We have a group of players who I believe in,” he said. “We need to make sure we use as many players as we can in a squad.

“In Helsinki, we took some players in and they performed really well. We just have to make sure as a squad we perform well over the next two games.

“As staff and manager that’s what we are trying to do, to make everyone as fresh as we can for the two games.”

While Robson is planning ahead for Sunday, he is keen to ensure his players are not thinking of Hampden.

“Listen, it’s not in my mind,” he said. “You are playing against Eintracht Frankfurt, one of the great sides in European football. So me and the players have to fully focus on that.

“We are not naive enough to think we don’t have to perform, because this is a big game, against some top players, so we have to be at our best.”

Midfielder Dante Polvara is eager to make the most of the chance to face the 2021 Europa League winners.

“It’s a chance to play for the club and for a lot of people to show what they can do,” he said.

“I will be just as excited for Thursday as I will be for Sunday. Of course Sunday holds other weight with us not being able to advance on Thursday but it’s going to be a privelege to play here and play against Frankfurt.

“You always want to impress no matter the occasion and even more so playing in a European game. It is a huge privilege and going toe to toe with the really big boys is an honour and something I am really excited for.

“And I am sure individually a lot of boys will be looking forward to showing what they can bring to the table.”

Related items

  • Fiorentina 2-2 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia keeps visitors' slim European hopes alive Fiorentina 2-2 Napoli: Kvaratskhelia keeps visitors' slim European hopes alive

    Dethroned Italian champions Napoli's hopes of playing European football next season are hanging by a thread after they played out a 2-2 draw at Fiorentina in Serie A on Friday.

    Napoli took the lead in the eighth minute through defender Amir Rrahmani, who nodded home a corner by Matteo Politano.

    Cristiano Biraghi levelled for Fiorentina in the 40th minute from a free-kick, before M'Bala Nzola put the hosts in front two minutes later when he fired a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

    Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia responded with another stunning free-kick early in the second half to rescue a point for his team.

    Eighth-placed Fiorentina, on 54 points and with a game in hand, are five points behind Lazio in seventh.

    They can still earn a Europa League spot either by leapfrogging the Rome side or by winning the Europa Conference League final in which they face Greece's Olympiakos on May 29.

    Ninth-placed Napoli, on 52 points, still have a slim chance of making the Europa Conference League playoffs.

    Data Debrief

    Fiorentina left-back Biraghi has now scored six goals from direct free-kicks since the start of 2021-22, which is behind only James Ward-Prowse (seven) - now of West Ham and formerly of Southampton - as the most across Europe's top five leagues in that period.

    Kvaratskhelia also levelled via a direct free-kick, making this the first Serie A match in which both teams scored via that route since Fiorentina against Lazio in April 2018 (Jordan Veretout and Luis Alberto in that case).

  • Southampton 3-1 West Brom (3-1 agg): Saints set up play-off final with Leeds United Southampton 3-1 West Brom (3-1 agg): Saints set up play-off final with Leeds United

    Southampton saw off West Brom 3-1 at St Mary's on Friday to set up a Championship play-off final showdown with Leeds United.

    Leeds thumped Norwich City 4-0 at Elland Road 24 hours earlier to book their place at Wembley, where Southampton now await on May 26.

    The first leg between the Saints and West Brom finished goalless - just like the other semi-final - but the home side's quality told in the end.

    Russell Martin's side dominated the first-half possession, with David Brooks going closest to scoring with a shot that hit the outside of the post.

    Southampton made the breakthrough via a powerful Will Smallbone finish four minutes into the second half after Gray Diangana lost possession.

    Darnell Furlong had a shot helped over by Alex McCarthy, while David Brooks - who assisted the opener - had a strong penalty appeal rejected.

    Southampton remained in control, though, and Adam Armstrong scored a second with a shot through Furlong's legs and past Alex Palmer.

    Armstrong's second goal arrived from the penalty spot in the 86th minute after Tom Fellows fouled Ryan Manning in the box, rendering Cedric Kipre's late header a mere consolation.

  • Marc Skinner signs Manchester United Women contract extension Marc Skinner signs Manchester United Women contract extension

    Marc Skinner has signed a one-year contract extension as Manchester United Women head coach with the option of a further 12 months.

    The 41-year-old guided United to their first major silverware last weekend with victory over Tottenham in the Women's FA Cup final.

    United are fifth in the Women's Super League with one game to go - a massive drop on last term's runners-up finish - but Skinner will stay on.

    "It's an honour to extend my stay at Manchester United," Skinner, who was appointed in 2021, told United's official website after the news was confirmed on Friday. 

    "I've always felt at home here, with our excellent players, staff, and fans.

    "Being able to secure the team's first major trophy at Wembley was a real career highlight for me and another sign of our continued growth, on and off the field."

    United conclude their campaign on Saturday against Chelsea, who lead Manchester City on goal difference entering the final day.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.