UEFA Europa Conference League - Second Qualifying Round First Legs.
UEFA Europa Conference League
Second Qualifying Round First Legs
Ferencvaros v Shamrock Rovers
Groupama Arena, Budapest- 18:00
Live on LOITV
KA Akureyri v Dundalk
Framvöllur, Reykjavik - 19:00
Derry City v KuPS
The Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium - 19:45
Live on LOITV
In what could be the most important night for Irish sides in Europe, three of our Clubs face Icelandic, Hungarian and Finnish opposition tonight all looking for another one of those nights.
In what might be considered the toughest task, Champions Shamrock Rovers are in Budapest up against Hungarian side Ferencvaros who will be reeling after last week’s shock defeat to Faroe Island side KI.
They have since dispensed with their Head Coach Stanislav Cherchesov and replaced him with Csaba Máté and will be looking for an immediate bounce after last week’s disappointment.
The two sides met previously last year in the UEFA Europa League Play-Off and the Hungarian side were comfortable winners in the home leg but Rovers came out of Tallaght with a 1-0 win.
Having entered the European phase with aspirations of Group Stage, Shamrock Rovers’ hopes were hit in Iceland last week following defeat to Breidablik and now face a stern test after the surprise Faroe win in Hungary.
They’ll have to do so without Rory Gaffney, Jack Byrne, Trevor Clarke and Neil Farrugia but Rovers will no doubt give everything they have over the two legs to produce a famous European result.
Dundalk will be looking to continue a storied history in Europe as they travel to Iceland.
Record goalscorer Pat Hoban and Louie Annesley, who both missed the win over Shamrock Rovers on Sunday will return to the squad in a big boost for the Lilywhites.
"We're looking forward to the game," O'Donnell said.
"The more European trips you get on, the more experience you get.
"They carry an offensive threat. They have good interplay from midfield up and good quality in the final third.
"Our job is obviously to make sure we're secure and then to try and wrest control of the game and be the biggest attacking threat.
"It will be a tough game, a very competitive game and I foresee it being a very tight game over the two legs.
"It has been a good week or so and hopefully the next seven or eight days will be just as good."
Derry City, meanwhile, after getting through a European round for the first time since 2014, face Finnish opposition in KuPS as they look to build on recent good form to produce another European win.
Michael Duffy, Mark Connolly and Will Patching will be key to this and Ruaihdri Higgins knows the size of the task ahead of them.
““It’s absolutely no disrespect to Torshavn, but KuPS are a step up again” said the City manager.
“We’ve had them watched and obviously done plenty of preparation work ahead of the tie and they have some real quality players.
“They also have pedigree in this competition- coming through three rounds in both the two previous years before losing out in the final qualifiers to Cluj and Union Berlin respectively.