Linfield hosts Rosenborg in the first leg of the Champions League qualification 1/8 finals. The match will be played on Wednesday, July 10th at Windsor Park (Belfast)
The last time when Linfield participated in the Champions League qualification was 2 years ago. Then, it played the 1st match at home either. Of course, the rival was much more modest - La Fiorita from San Marino, and the North-Irish advanced to the next round by winning with a 1-0 score on the average of two matches. After the last championship, which Linfield won, the team held 3 friendly matches. All 3 were lost. But the team managed to keep a draw in the first half in one of those games.
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Rosenborg has problems in the local championship. 6 victories and 5 defeats in 14 rounds, and the team takes 7th place, which is not usual for the fans’ eyes. It also plays unconfidently in the away games - only 2 wins. And the Trolls did not win in the 1st half in any of those games.
I will not undertake to predict the outcome of the whole match. Anyway, the class of the Norwegian team is much higher, even taking into account the nondescript fixtures in the local championship. However, Linfield can stand in the 1st half of the game. The hosts will have enough strength at the beginning of the match. The Norwegians will need time to adapt to the not very high-quality lawn. The rivals met 9 years ago. Then a goalless draw was recorded in Belfast, but the Trolls won in Norway (2-0). Something like this can be expected this time.
Prediction for the match: Linfield to win the first half with +0.5 handicap