sport

AS Trencin v Hull City preview

Tom Ince and Robert Snodgrass are in line to make their competitive debuts for Hull City in the Europa League third-qualifying round first leg in Slovakia against AS Trencin on Thursday.

New signings Andy Robertson and Harry Maguire are ineligible, but three players with injury doubts - goalkeeper Allan McGregor and defenders Curtis Davies and David Meyler - have flown to Slovakia ahead of the game.

AS Trencin have close links to Dutch giants Ajax for their historic first foray into European football.

Trencin are a small club who have only been in the top flight of Slovakian football for three seasons - and who normally play in a stadium with a capacity of just 4,500 - but they have benefited from their links to Ajax.

The club is owned by former Dutch international Tschen La Ling, who has made the most of his links with his old club Ajax, with a number of players moving to Slovakia from Holland including Brazilian defender Ramon da Silva, Nigerian midfielder Simon Moses. Slovakian international forward Frantisek Kubik was also loaned out to the Eredivisie with Den Haag before returning to Trencin.

The match against is taking place in Zilina, to satisfy UEFA's stadium requirements.

Hull manager Steve Bruce said the possibility of getting to the group stage was a huge incentive.

He told the Hull Daily Mail: "Our goal is to get into the group stage, where we could face some of the big names of European football.

"That is the carrot for us, in terms of why we need to make sure we get through both qualifying rounds if at all possible. That is what I will tell the players.

"This tie is a step into the unknown in a lot of ways, we will just have to wait and see.

"That, to me, is the beauty of Europe anyway. It isn't all about Spain, Italy or Germany. The smaller nations can be just as tough to face.

"I am expecting a typical European game and we will have to be ready for the challenge."