A new European season gets underway as the first hurdle Maccabi will face is Moldovan outfit FC Petrocub Hincesti that will travel to Israel for the first leg of the Conference League 2nd qualifying round.

Shortly before hosting the Moldovan’s at Bloomfield stadium (Thursday, 20:30) we can dive in to try and learn what should we expect in the next two matches.

Petrocub were drawn to face Maccabi after ending last season’s Moldovan Super League in the runners up spot three points adrift of Champions Sheriff Tiraspol. Petrocub is a relatively young club which was founded in 1999 and played its’ first of 15 European matches to date in the 2018/19 season.

Since then, Petrocub represented Moldova in every season and reached its’ highest stage last season before being knocked out of the Conference League 3rd qualifying round by Hungarian side Fehervar.

Petrocub’s home stadium at Hincesti has a capacity of 1200 fans only, as a result they host their European matches at Zimbru’s 10,500 capacity stadium in Kishinev.

The formation: mostly 3 central defenders

Petrocub is a team that has retained most of the playing and coaching staff.  

Ivan Tabanov, has been Petrocub’s manager since June 2022, as the 56-year-old mostly plays with five players across the back. His formation varies between 3 central defenders as 5-3-2 to 3-4-3 and sometimes even 5-4-1.

One of the Moldovan’s characteristics is their physicality and aggression whilst relying on a transition game aiming to reach the opponent’s danger zone as soon as possible.

The striker to face Maccabi

Petrocub’s squad consists mostly of local Moldovan players, 8 of whom are members of the national team side that beat Poland 3-2 in the EURO 2024 qualifying campaign.

Central defender, Victor Mudrac, Ioan-Calin Revenco the right-back and Maxim Cojocaru the winger were all starters in that match and played a significant role in one of the biggest victories of Moldova’s football history.

Maccabi will have to pay attention to Petrocub’s captain and their biggest star Vladimir Ambros as the 29-year-old striker scored 76 goals in almost 200 appearances for the club. Marius Iosipoi who scored last season 7 league goals from his position as a winger is another player who might pose a threat.