Cork City gear up to take on Legia Warsaw in the UEFA Champions League at Turners Cross on their return to Europe’s top competition for the first time in 12 years (kick off 7.45pm).
Following on from the champagne supernova of City’s 2006 adventure from Cyprus to previous winners Red Star Belgrade, the Rebel Army enter tonight’s tie against a side who has been well aquatinted with group stage football on the European stage.
Having beaten St Patrick's Athletic in 2014 on their way to the Europa League group stages, and Dundalk in 2016 to reach the Champions League group stages, City now stand defiant for the arrival of the Polish giants.
“It’s fantastic for a club like us to go and play a club like Legia who are a massive club,” manager John Caulfield said ahead of the game.
“It’s an honour for us to play them. They are the biggest club this club has played since Bayern Munich”
Having played and managed in several European ties, John Caulfield is no stranger to the big occasion.
Having played up front in that famous draw with Bayern Munich in 1991, Caulfield has also led City to shock wins against Swedish Cup winner Hacken in 2016.
“We are looking for any advantage that we can take. Like I keep saying we are massive underdogs but we are all looking forward to the game.
“It’s great for our supporters to see players who will move the ball a lot quicker to our own league”
City will rely on fitness tests for Garry Buckley, Mark McNulty, Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Graham Cummins and Steven Beattie going into the tie, while they have no suspensions.
The 2018 Polish double winners travel to Turners Cross hoping to make it a treble of successes over Irish clubs, following wins against Pats and Dundalk in recent seasons.
In the 19 man panel traveling to Turners Cross remain a number of notable absentees.
At the forefront are defensive duo Michal Pazdan and Artur J?drzejczyk will be out due to their involvement in Poland’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.
Also absent are Croatian midfielder Domagoj Antloic and captain Miroslav Radovic, who are injured, while strikers Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Eduardo de Silva and Carlitos are left out of the final squad.
Referee: Radu Petrescu (Romania).
This will be John Caulfield’s thirteenth European game at Cork City, with a record of four wins, three draws and five losses.
This is both the first meeting between Cork City and Legia Warsaw, but also the first ever tie between City and a Polish club.
Legia have played 4 friendlies, winning three and drawing one, scoring 13 goals in their preparations while City come in second in the table on the back of a 0-0 draw at home to Shamrock Rovers.
Cork City 7/4 Draw 13/5 Legia Warsaw 4/7.
Cork City 0 – 2 Legia Warsaw.
Injured: Garry Buckley, Mark McNulty, Colm Horgan, Alan Bennett, Graham Cummins and Steven Beattie.
Injured: Domagoj Antloic, Miroslav Radovic are injured, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Eduardo de Silva and Carlitos.