When Linfield visits the Aspmyra Stadion on Wednesday for the second leg of their Champions League second-round qualifying match, Bodo/Glimt will look to overcome a 1-0 lead.
Kirk Millar’s goal gave the Northern Irish champions a shocking victory in the first leg, and the winner will face either Zalgiris or Malmo in the third round.
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Bodo/travel Glimt’s days in Europe have not been kind thus far; they just avoided losingver KI in their first-round qualifying match before moving on 4-3 on aaggregate
The second leg of the match between Linfield and the Norwegian champions will take place on Wednesday, and Millar’s goal with 83 minutes remaining in the first leg last week gave Linfield an unanticipated narrow lead.
Molde and Lillestrom are still out of sight as they urgently strive to reenter the title race, but Kjetil Knutsen’s team went into Saturday’s Eliteserien match against Jerv with a point to prove and crushed the relegation hopefuls 5-0.
Bodo/Glimt, who lost to Roma in the Europa Conference League quarterfinals last season, have already achieved their best-ever finish in the continent’s premier competition by moving on to the second round of Champions League qualifying. Knutsen should find comfort in their home form.
Although Bodo/Glimt has won four straight games at home in all competitions, scoring 14 goals while allowing just one, the visitors should play fearlessly in front of the Nordic crowd.
Linfield has also been on an impressive winning streak this summer, as David Healy’s team has been expertly juggling Champions League and friendlies since the beginning of the month.
The 56-time Northern Irish champions Linfield required extra time to defeat the New Saints 2-1 on aggregate in the first round of Champions League qualification, but they might now advance to the third round of qualifying for the first time ever.
Linfield has never advanced past the second round of Champions League qualifying in its current format. They were eliminated at that stage four times prior to that, and they reached the first round of the 1993–94 tournament before being eliminated by Copenhagen.
On Saturday, Healy’s team defeated Loughgall 2-0 in a friendly to earn their fifth straight victory across all competitions, although only three of their 18 away games in the Champions League qualifying had resulted in victories.
We misjudged Linfield in the first leg, but Bodo/Glimt performed brilliantly in league play over the weekend and will be motivated to finish an anticipated turnaround this week.
Although Healy’s team has so far represented Northern Ireland admirably in Europe, Bodo/success Glimt’s at home and their abundance of goals mean that Linfield’s European run is now unavoidably coming to an end.