Europa League Preview: Progres Niederkorn -v- Cork City

Thu, Jul 18 2019

It was a frustrating night at the office in the first leg for the Leesiders Credit: Steve Alfred (ETPhotos)

PROGRES NIEDERKORN

Luxembourg outfit Progres Niederkorn will be looking to secure a second round qualifying clash against Glasgow Rangers when they host Cork City on Thursday evening (kick-off is at 6.30pm).

Goals from Belmin Muratovic and Mayron de Almeida saw the Luxembourg side take a crucial lead back to Central Europe.

Should they progress, Niederkorn will face former Europa League foes Glasgow Rangers in the Second Qualifying Round.

However, manager Roland Vrabec is not looking past the challenge of Cork City; “We are more advanced in our preparation and the players know each other better. 

“This explains why we had a better match in Ireland than in the previous round against Cardiff. It's also easier for us to play against a team that attacks.

“I did not talk about the Rangers with the players. We only prepare Cork City. This Thursday, it will be very different from the first leg. 

“Cork City will have nothing to lose and will try things. We will play to score the first goal, because then it will be difficult for them to score three.”

There are no available team news for the Luxembourg side.

CORK CITY

Cork City have it all to do in Luxembourg on Thursday, when they face Progres Niederkorn having lost the first leg two-nil.

After going two behind in a horror first half display, City had the opportunity to halve the arrears through Karl Sheppard’s spot-kick which was saved.

Speaking to the media prior to their departure to Luxembourg, John Cotter admits that his side will have to be positive heading over to face Progres.

“We’ve looked back on it since. Obviously, we gave away two soft goals, but we have discussed it and had some good training sessions, so we have to be positive going over there.

“That’s the way we have approached it this week and we will look to bring that into the game. We have to go out and try to get the first goal, and see where that takes us, so that’s what we will be planning to do.

“If we can get the first goal, it will open up the tie and I feel we can do that if we perform like we should perform.

“I thought we started quite well but, when we conceded, we lost our way for a while and a lot of that comes down to confidence.

“We need to be better than that, so we have addressed that and spoken about it and hopefully the players will go out and put in a performance.

“There is a lot of experience in the dressing room and we will be looking to call on all of that on Thursday. We know that an early goal, or even getting the first goal, will open up the tie.

“We saw signs the other night where we feel we could do that, so we plan to target those areas and try to take the game to them from there.”

On the injury front, Shane Griffin and Kevin O’Connor are rated as doubtful but is hoped that they will both play a part in Luxembourg.

However, Cian Murphy and Cian Bargary are both ruled out of contention.

Referee: Matthew De Gabriele (Malta).

 

MATCH STATS

Cork City have not scored a European goal since July 2017 – with Ireland international Sean Maguire scoring against Estonian side Levadia Tallinn.

This will be the first time the Leesiders have made the trip to Luxembourg to face European opposition.

Progres Niederkorn have only ever won four European ties, with their first coming over Glasgow Rangers in 2017.

BETTING

Progres Niederkorn 10/11; Draw 11/5; Cork City 13/5.

PREDICTION

Progres Niederkorn 1 - 1 Cork City

 

Progres Niederkorn

Injured: Unavailable.

Doubtful: Unavailable.

Suspended: None.

 

Cork City

Injured: Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary.

Doubtful: Shane Griffin, Kevin O’Connor.

Suspended: None.