26 Aug 2020
© PressEye Coleraine's Stephen Lowry in action during last Thursday's win over La Fiorita
Oran Kearney leads Coleraine back onto the Europa League stage on Thursday night when the Bannsiders go head-to-head with NK Maribor in Slovenia.
James McLaughlin's 89th minute winner against La Fiorita last week at The Showgrounds secured Coleraine's place in this First Qualifying Round tie which will, of course, be played to a finish behind closed doors as per current UEFA guidance.
Maribor, like Coleraine, finished second domestically last season but have lifted the Slovenian PrvaLiga title on no fewer than 15 occasions since the country gained independence from Yugoslavia almost 30 years ago. Additionally, Maribor have won the local cup competition nine times and, in 2006, were one of the winners in the now discontinued UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Known as The Purples, Maribor are managed by former Bosnian international Sergej Jakirović and prepared for the game with a 6-1 friendly win over fellow top flight club Gorica with two goals apiece coming from former internationals Martin Kramarič and Jasmin Mešanović.
Additionally, defender Nemanja Mitrović was only one of three locally based players to be named amongst the Slovenian panel for the forthcoming UEFA Nations League games against Greece and Moldova, although Martin Milec and striker Luka Zahović have been called up by their country inside the last twelve months.
Kicking off at 7:45pm, the game will be broadcast live on the BBC Sport NI website and app.