BALA TOWN travel to Belgium this week ahead of what will be one of the biggest nights in the club’s 140-year history.

Colin Caton’s men will face Standard Liege at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne in a UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round match on Thursday evening.

But what can they expect during what will no doubt be a difficult encounter? Denbighshire Free Press Sport Reporter Arron Evans spoke to Belgium-based La Derniere Heure les Sports reporter Kevin Sauvage this week to get the lowdown on Liege.

Denbighshire Free Press:

PICTURE: Gareth Hughes.

The following questions were put forward and answered:

AE: What kind of formation can Bala expect to come up against v Standard? Has it changed under the recent new management?

KS: They usually play a 4-2-3-1. Manager Philippe Montanier discovered Ousmane Dembele at Rennes and Antoine Griezmann at Real Sociedad is the new coach this season.

He succeeds Michel Preud'homme, who is now vice-president at Standard. The system is the same but the way of playing is a bit different - with Montanier focusing on havinga good defence.

AE: Are Standard one of the favourites for the Belgian Pro League title? Or will they be chasing a European spot?

KS: I would say Standard are a candidate to play in what we call here the play-offs (four teams fighting for the title), but they are not big favourites for the title. Qualifying for Europe is the target again as with previous seasons.

AE: Who are their most valuable players?

KS: Zinho Vanheusden, the club's new captain, is one. He is a 21-year-old central defender bought from Inter Milan for £12.6m - the most expensive signing in the club's history. I would tip him to be Vincent Kompany's successor in the national team in years to come.

Nicolas Raskin is another revelation from the start of this season. He is a 19-year-old central midfielder who is very strong and has a bright future ahead I'm sure.

You also have Mehdi Carcela, a club legend, and Jackson Muleka, a new striker from TP Mazembe, Congo DR, big hope are placed on him as he scored 57 goals in 80 matches for his former club.

The club lost another big player - Maxime Lestienne - to injury just last week so he will not play on Thursday.

AE: What’s the reaction to drawing Bala out of the hat been like? Had many heard about Bala beforehand?

KS: To be honest, we all had to Google the name after the draw! The players are very humble however and will no doubt show great respect towards Bala Town. But the goal is to qualify for the Europa League group stage of course.

AE: How have Standard been preparing for this match?

KS: They had a game last weekend and lost for the first time this season 1-0 to OH Louvain. They lost Lestienne to injury in that one and had Nicolas Gavory sent off but were a little unlucky not to get a point.

AE: Can you tell me a bit about the Stade Maurice Dufrasne? What can Bala expect when they arrive there?

KS: It's called 'Sclessin' here in Belgium and its the most famous ground in the country, where the atmosphere is always very hot.

Standard Liege can usually expect to see between 22,000 and 28,000 supporters at the ground, when there is no pandemic. Although, they are set to welcome around 7,500 fans next Sunday for their league match for the first time since March.

The eventual winning team at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne will go on to face Serbian side FK Vojvodina in UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round Three.