Preview: Linfield vs. The New Saints: Prediction, Team News, Lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Linfield and The New Saints, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

With their tie in the first qualifying round still on the line, Linfield Y the new saints meet in Windsor Park on Wednesday night, with the aim of getting to the next stage of the Champions League.

The Welsh champions lead by one goal before the second leg, after which the winners will advance to a second-round encounter with either Bodo/Glimt of Norway or KI of the Faroe Islands; the losers will be sent to the Europa Conference League.

match preview

Last week’s defeat in the first leg at Oswestry saw Linfield’s hopes of advancing to the second round of Champions League qualifying take a heavy blow, following their 1-0 loss to The New Saints. .

Ryan BrobelThe second-half goal separated the teams at Park Hall and gives the Cymru Premier club a slim lead heading into Wednesday’s second leg in Belfast.

Both jordan stewart Y Stephen Fallon squandered late chances for the Blues, being denied by the Saints goalie connor-robertsas the South Belfast side lost for the first time to opponents who have played three times before without defeat.

Linfield’s pre-season program continued at the weekend, with a 2-1 victory over NIFL Championship side Knockbreda FC, whose long-time manager david healy young striker signed Ethan Devin back in January.

Under the guidance of one of Northern Ireland’s greatest strikers, who scored 36 international goals before leading Linfield to five titles in the last six seasons, Devine played a crucial role in securing the final term NIFL Premiership title for a single point, just ahead of Cliftonville.

After claiming the club’s 56th domestic crown, thoughts naturally turned to another continental campaign, but the Blues have a lot of work to do if their current Champions League journey isn’t cut short at the first hurdle.

The New Saints stand in their way, and recent European adventures have sparked hope in the Welsh champions’ camp – they have reached the third qualifying round of the Europa League or Europa Conference League in three of the last four years.

After sealing a domestic double with victory in the Welsh Cup final in May, the Saints were soon back in training for their last chance in the Champions League, a competition in which they had never before reached the group stage. , and preseason results indicated they were set for last week’s premiere.

Two wins from two in their opening pair of friendlies, a 5-1 win over last season’s Cymru Premier runners-up Bala Town and a 2-1 win against Cliftonville, were followed by a 2-0 loss. against Larne in his last warm-up. game up

Coach anthony limbrick – the first Australian to lead a European club team to their domestic title – has already built up some experience in continental competition, and during the inaugural season of the Conference League, his team advanced through the first two rounds of classification.

Despite beating Linfield’s old rivals Glentoran and FK Kauno Zalgiris, it was a disappointing penalty shootout in the third round against Czech club Viktoria Plzen. Embarking on a similar streak this year, however, hinges on the Saints holding even the slightest of first-leg leads.

Linfield Champions League form:

Linfield form (all competitions):

The New Saints’ Champions League form:

The form of the New Saints (all competitions):

team news

After fielding several players who still had little pre-season playing time at the weekend, David Healy will return to his strongest line-up at Linfield for the second leg on Wednesday.

recent signature Robbie McDaid he made his competitive debut for the Blues in last week’s match, and Healy will rely on the former Glentoran striker to once again lead the line at Windsor Park.

Two players who traveled to Oswestry but were ultimately not named in the team of the day, ross larkin Y Eetu Vertainenwill expect to be involved this time around – the latter has returned to Linfield for a second loan spell from St Johnstone.

The 23-year-old initially moved in January, with four goals in 10 games helping his new team win the title, and will now spend this season in Belfast. However, he is still recovering from an injury sustained at the end of last season, so it is possible that he is only fit enough to play off the bench.

Meanwhile, TNS will once again choose Connor Roberts as its last line of defense, after the former Everton youth squad starred in last Tuesday’s thrashing.

At the other end of the field, the Scottish striker Declan McManus he is set to start up front, having previously been named the 2021-22 Cymru Premier ‘Player of the Season’, with a total of 24 league goals.

Hoping to score in both legs of the tie, Saints winger Ryan Brobbel will start on the wing, back in the country he represented at Under-21 level almost a decade ago.

Possible starting lineup for Linfield:
Johns; Finlayson, Roscoe, Hall, Clarke; Shields, Mulgrew, Fallon; Cooper, McDaid, Miller

The possible New Saints starting lineup:
Robert; D. Davies, Astles, K. Davies, Marriott; Smith, Routledge, Redmond, Brobbel; McManus, Cieslewicz

We say: Linfield 2-1 The New Saints (2-2 on aggregate; Linfield win after extra time and penalties)

The result of the first leg leaves this tie perfectly balanced, and there is a good chance that the game will end in extra time, especially without the defunct away goals rule.

Linfield was turned down by some good goalkeepers last Tuesday, but the support of the Windsor Park faithful may encourage them to score more than once. Ultimately though, spot shots may be needed to decide which side advances.

For data analysis of the most probable results, scores and more for this match, click here.

Better advice

Our expert prediction partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they’re predicting for this game and for more of their tried and tested soccer tips.Less than 2.5:data

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