EUROPA LEAGUE: Roy Carroll poised for Linfield debut against Cork City at Windsor Park

Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll is line to make his debut for Linfield in the Europea League at Windsor Park.
Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll is line to make his debut for Linfield in the Europea League at Windsor Park.

Linfield boss David Healy is relishing the prospect of his side’s Europa League clash with Cork City in the Europa League on Thursday evening (7.45pm).

Windsor Park is the setting for the first leg of their first qualifying round meeting, which could see Northern Ireland international Roy Carroll make his Linfield debut having now returned from Euro 2016.

Healy hopes his side can make the most of their home advantage in Belfast before the return trip to the Republic of Ireland.

Healy, quoted on Linfield’s official website, said: “I’m looking forward to it. It will be a really good test and should be a good game.

“At the end of the day it is a derby match and everyone knows what they mean - it will be competitive and I will make sure my players are aware of their responsibilities.

“Hopefully we will go out, perform and get a result we can take down to Cork, and then progress.

“We are at home on Thursday and need to be on the front foot. It would be nice to win 1-0, or 2-0 - that would be an ideal scoreline.

“It is important we don’t concede an away goal. Cork are very strong at home.

“I think with the way we set up tomorrow, hopefully the organisation and the fitness and quality we have will get us the right result.”

Cork boss John Caulfield said he was expecting a ‘hell for leather game’ against Healy’s men on their home patch at Windsor.

“Linfield are probably the biggest club north or south.

“I think it will be a hell-for-leather game and we need to be composed and disciplined. It is important that we get back to basics, that we work hard and move the ball quickly,” said Caulfield.

“If we give a strong performance, I think we will win, but it’s played over two legs and I think it will go right to the wire.

“It’s an all-Ireland game and there’s so much passion and pride involved, I think both teams will go for it.

“I don’t think either side will back off. I’m positive, I’m optimistic and it would be great if we could go there and score.”

Exciting prospect Paul Smyth, who was drafted in to train with Northern Ireland in France along with Glenavon’s Joel Cooper, is also expected to be involved at Windsor Park.

As well as Linfield, Thursday’s Europa League games also see Danske Bank Premiership representation in Glenavon, who are at Iceland’s KR Reykjavik, and Cliftonville, in action in Luxembourg against Differdange.

The first round second leg ties are scheduled to be played on Thursday, July 7.