This website uses cookies. Please click "Accept and Close" to accept the use of cookies on our website. By continuing to browse our website you consent to the use of cookies on this website.

For more information on how we use cookies please visit our Cookie Policy page, or visit our Privacy notice page for more information on how we manage and use data.

Premiership

BLUES BACK IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ACTION

07 Aug 2020
football
© PressEye Linfield manager David Healy
Linfield are back in European action this weekend when they travel to Switzerland to compete in the UEFA Champions League preliminary round mini tournament.
 
The Blues will face San Marino champions Tre Fiori in the semi-final on Saturday (kick-off 2pm) before, hopefully, progressing to the final on Tuesday 11th against either Drita (Kosovo) or Andorra's Inter Club d'Escaldes. All games will be played at Nyon's Centre sportif de Colovray. In addition, all games will be single legs and played to a finish.
 
Although the Blues have not played competitively since the Kirk Millar inspired 2-0 defeat of Carrick Rangers back in March they have limbered up for their European foray with a series of friendlies against League of Ireland sides Bohemians (W 3-0), Shelbourne (W 1-0) and Dundalk (W 1-0) as well as hosting Portadown (D 3-3) at New Midgley Park.
 
Last season Linfield came within a whisker of reaching the Europa League group stages but they will not be underestimating Tre Fiori given their only previous experience of coming up against Sammarinese opposition. That came as recently as three seasons ago when only an 89th minute Jordan Stewart winner in the first leg at Windsor Park proved to be the difference against La Fiorita.
 
Linfield manager David Healy is looking forward to the tournament but guards against taking the opposition lightly. 
 
"We're looking forward to it. The players have been working hard over the past number of weeks since we've come back and have been doing their own bits and pieces since we went into lockdown so they're in good shape," he told the official Linfield website.
 
"It's a little bit into the unknown. Normally when you play a team in Europe you have footage of your opposition in recent games but there hasn't been that. In terms of that it'll be a challenge but one that we're greatly looking forward to.
 
"We had an incredible run last year, and the players are excited by it this year, so whatever the opposition we face on Saturday the main thing is that we're ready as a group. Tre Fiori will be given every respect but the players will know what jobs they have.
 
"People will look at it on paper and think it'll be an easy one. As much as I would enjoy it being an easy fixture I don't foresee it being that way. They'll be organised like the majority of teams. Some of the teams last year probably thought we were going to be easy pickings for them but if a team is organised and works hard anything can happen, especially in a one-off game."