Linfield could toil in the San Marino heat
Europa v The New Saints
La Fiorita v Linfield
Linfield and The New Saints must have reckoned they had virtual byes into the second qualifying round of the Champions League after being paired with opposition from San Marino and Gibraltar respectively. How wrong they were.
Linfield, so confident of nobbling La Fiorita that all the talk was of playing Celtic in the next round, needed a late strike to nick a 1-0 win at home.
And TNS, in a state of change following inspirational boss Craig Harrison’s departure from Park Hall, crashed to a 2-1 home defeat against Europa, who were a million miles better than the usual standard of Gibraltarian club sides.
David Healy’s Linfield will expect to hold on in San Marino and should have won the home tie by more – they missed a penalty and hit the woodwork.
La Fiorita are art-timers, but coach Nicola Berardi has brought in a handful of veteran Italian league players to help and they had their moments in Belfast.
It will be hot in San Marino on Tuesday and it’s well worth betting that the improving hosts don’t lose the tie.
La Fiorita or draw double chance
1pt 13-8 bet365