Preview of Tuesday night’s Europa League tie

Posted : 11th August 2019 at 20:36:10

On Tuesday night Linfield welcome the players and officials of FK Sutjeska FC to Windsor Park (7.45pm ko), in the second leg QR3 of the Europa League. In the first leg the Blues returned home from Montenegro with a well deserved victory (2-1), courtesy of two fine goals from Kirk Millar. The winner of this tie will meet the loser of the Qarabag (Azerbaijan) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus) Champions League tie. The first leg of the tie saw Qarabag win 2-1 in Nicosia.

On Saturday Linfield's defence of the Gibson Cup trophy got off to a comfortable start with a 3-1 home win over a physical Institute side. After conceding an early penalty, the Blues stormed back to score three goals, the pick of which was a 30 yard screamer from Jordan Stewart. Linfield created but failed to convert several decent opportunities to add to the three goals that were finally scored Overall though, this was a very pleasing performance in what at times was a very tough, fiesty game.

Linfield have put themselves in a great position having won the first leg in Montenegro and scored two massive away goals. David will be expecting Sutjeska to come quickly out of the blocks as they look to get an early foothold in the game. The first goal for whichever team that scores it, will you feel prove to be pivotal in the final outcome of the game and indeed the tie itself. Linfield have built up some real momentum both in their pre-season preparations and in the competitive fixtures that have already been played. Hopefully on the night, the Blues can remain solid at the back and resolute across the middle of the park.

There have been some memorable European nights under the Windsor Park floodlights since Linfield first competed the European Cup back in 1959. On Tuesday night the Linfield players have the opportunity to write themselves into the history books if they can overcome the challenge from the Montenegrin champions and progress into the Europa League play-off round. In the stands the Linfield faithful will need to be at their most vocal in their support for the players on the pitch. There will certainly be a great atmosphere within the 'Park' with a large crowd expected through the turnstiles for this eagerly anticipated game. COYB!

Ken Garrett
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