A day after landing in Baku ahead of the Conference League 2nd qualifying round first leg against Zira at the Dalga Arena, Sheran Yeini spoke about the excitement of starting another European campaign.

The 35-year-old who will begin his 18th season at the club and could make his 77th international appearance said: “I am always excited to begin a new season as a European campaign is always tough and challenging regardless of the opponents you are drawn against. We must always be prepared and at our utmost concentration level because matches like this are always tough”.

Yeini, who is the sole survivor of the squad who faced Xazar Lankaran in 2011 added: “We played against several Azeri teams in recent years and all the matches against them were tough so I am not expecting anything different this time round. They are a dangerous opponent with quick forwards who could cause us problems which means we will have to remain focused. I hope to win the match and kill the tie already here”.

Maccabi will miss several key players through injury as Idan Nachmias missed a list of absentees which already include Eran Zahavi, Nir Bitton, Dan Glazer and Shahar Piven, but Yeini remained adamant: “We believe in ourselves and our ability. We have key players missing but I am sure we will earn them during the rest of the season and I am confident we will manage without them”.

On the motivation the team will arrive at the game, Yeini, concluded: “Our motivation for this match is high as we want to win every match in every competition both domestic and international. Matches here in Azerbaijan are always tough and if my memory serves me right we drew our last two matches away to Azeri sides so we are expecting a tough match tomorrow”