Linfield -v- B36 TorshavnTue, Jul 03 2012
Chelsea’s dramatic Champions League victory, and subsequent inclusion in this year’s competition, means that Linfield must enter the competition in the opening qualifying stage for the first time.
In order to progress to a second round tie with AEL Limassol of Cyprus, David Jeffrey’s team will have to create history by becoming a the first Irish League side to win a tie in the competition since the European Cup became the Champions League.
The visit of Torshavn will provide the perfect opportunity to reverse that statistic and the bookies have installed the Blues as massive 1/8 favourites to beat the Faroe Islanders at Windsor Park on Tuesday night.
The Blues will definitely be without defender William Murphy and midfield pair Michael Gault and Philip Lowry through a mixture of injury and family commitments. They also have also ruled out first choice goalkeeper, Alan Blayney, who is suffering from groin and hamstring problems and sat out the weekend friendly win over Bangor City.
There could be competitive debuts for former Dundalk striker, Matthew Tipton, and Ryan Henderson who signed from Donegal Celtic at the end of last season.
Although massive underdogs going into the tie B36 will hope that the fact they are well into their season will give them an advantage as they attempt to record only their second victory in the Champions league.
Any confidence gained will be tempered their form thus far in their domestic league which sees them lying sixth in the table, having won five, drawn four and lost six of their fixtures so far.
Since its formation in 1936, the club has won the Premier League title on nine occasions and the Cup six times and will hope that the three current internationals, Atli Danielsen and Suni Olsen and striker Jakup a Borg, will be able to repeat the performance that saw the Faroe Islands gain a draw against Northern Ireland in the Euro qualifiers.
Referee: Wim Smet (BEL)
B36 have played 8 times in the Champions League, winning once, drawing once and losing 6 games. Their solitary win came in 2006/07 when they defeated Birkirkara FC of Malta 5-2 on aggregate but they were eliminated in the second qualifying round, losing both matches to Turkish side Fenerbahçe 4-0 and 5-0.
The club plays in the Faroe Islands Premier League and its home games are held at the 5,000 capacity Gundadalur Stadium in the capital Torshavn.
Linfield’s best performance in Europe saw them reach the last eight of the European Cup in the 1966-67 season where they were defeated by CSKA Sofia over two legs.
Linfield 1/8 Draw 7/1 B36 Torshavn 14/1
Linfield 2-0 B36 Torshavn
Linfield Injury News: Phillip Lowry, Michael Gault, Alan Blayney. William Murphy is also ruled out through family commitments.
Linfield Suspension News: None
B36 Torshavn Injury News: None
B36 Torshavn Suspension News: None