Cork City begin their Europa League adventure when they host Luxembourg outfit Progres Niederkorn at Turners Cross on Thursday evening (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
John Cotter will lead his side into battle for the first time without former manager John Caulfield following the legendary manager’s departure in May.
City enter the Turners Cross cauldron off the back of an encouraging performance against Bohemians on Friday evening.
Speaking ahead of the game, Cotter is hoping his side can keep a strong tempo going to their play going against their Luxembourg opponents.
“Sometimes in these European games, the tempo can be a bit slower than League of Ireland games, but we still need to play at a good tempo for ourselves,” Cotter said in his pre-match press conference.
“That’s when we’re at our best. Will there be times where you’re going to be sitting in your shape? More than likely, I would say, yes.
“We know where we’re good, and how we’re good, and we need to be on the front foot. We’re playing at home, so the onus is on us to do that, and we’ll be trying to do that from the off on Thursday.”
On the injury front, Cork are likely to be without the services of Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary, Pierce Phillips and Kevin O’Connor through injury.
Shane Griffin is also a doubt as he makes his way back from the shoulder injury suffered against St. Pats in May.
Out to right the wrongs of their most recent trip to Ireland, Progres Niederkorn make the trip to Leeside on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League Qualifying Round tie.
On their last visit to the Emerald Isle, Progres were swept aside by Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium by three goals to nil.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Progres boss Thomas Gilgemann admits he is expecting a tough encounter at Turners Cross.
“I expect it to be very tough tomorrow,” Gilgemann said.
“We watched the last two games Cork played and they are a very physical team. We have to expect them to be very strong and physical.
“We like to play a bit of football, but we have to be much better than we were against Cardiff.
“I think we need to believe in ourselves and look to win. We need to create chances and look to score an away goal. If we do that and get an away goal that will be a very good result for us.”
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (Latvia).
The Leesiders are winless in their last seven league games, with their most recent three points coming against UCD at the Belfield Bowl.
Progres just about edged past the challenge of Cardiff MU in their previous European excursion, only winning on away goals against their Welsh counterparts.
The winners of this tie will most likely face Glasgow Rangers in the next round of the Europa League qualifiers. The Gers eased past Gibraltarian’s St Joseph’s 4-0 in their opening leg away from home.
Cork City 11/10; Draw 9/5; Progres Niederkorn 12/5.
Cork City 1 - 0 Progres Niederkorn
Injured: Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary, Pierce Phillips, Kevin O’Connor.
Doubtful: Shane Griffin.