Shamrock Rovers host Norwegian side Odds BK in the first leg of their second round Europa League qualifier at Tallaght Stadium.
Buoyed by the recent capture of the hottest Irish free agent Damien Duff, Rovers will be looking to cap off this historic week in spectacular style.
The Hoops are still without influential midfielders and former Irish internationals; Stephen McPhail and Keith Fahey, while cultured winger Sean O’Connor remains a long term absentee. However, Rovers have had no fresh injury worries following their comprehensive victory last week in the previous round against the Luxembourg side Progres Niedkorn.
Striker Danny North also made his first appearance since May. Rovers are currently unbeaten in their last 18 games in Tallaght.
The Dublin 24 side took apart Progres especially in the second half of the first round as defender Dave Webster opened the scoring until Marty Waters continued his rich vein of form with a brace scoring his seventh of the season, including six in his last six matches. This will not be the first time Rovers have faced a Norwegian side this term as in pre-season they beat SK Brann 3-2 back in February.
Boss Pat Fenlon is well aware of the threat the visitors hold as they took down Moldovan side FC Sheriff last week and believes the first protocol for the Hoops is to keep a clean sheet in Tallaght, “You see the result they’ve had, I think most people would have fancied Sheriff to beat them and knock them out, and they went out there and won 3-0.
“Looking at the game, they were very positive in the away leg and went for it very early and got a lot of people forward and played on the front foot. So were going to be in for a tough night.
“I think when you’re at home you want to try and keep a clean sheet, I think that’s the important thing.”
Prediction: Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Odds BK
Injuries: Stephen McPhail, Keith Fahey & Sean O’Connor
Betting Odds: Shamrock Rovers 5/2 Draw 12/5 Odds BK EVENS
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, 16/07/2015, 20:00