Champions League: Linfield game to go ahead despite Legia Warsaw Covid-19 case

Linfield’s Champions League first qualifying round tie in Poland will go ahead on Tuesday despite a Legia Warsaw player testing positive for Covid-19.

The Polish champions announced the positive test late on Monday.

Linfield were granted a bye to the game after Kosovan opponents FC Drita had two positive cases before last week’s scheduled tie in Switzerland.

Tuesday’s match will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website and app.

Linfield boss David Healy believes his side is capable of producing a shock in the one-leg tie.

“It’s a good test for us to see where we are at,” said Healy.

  • Healy disappointed after Drita cancellation
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“The lack of a crowd and atmosphere, it’s a one-off game – football can sometimes work in mysterious ways.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to go and test ourselves against a European team that everyone is well aware of.

“Myself as a manager and the players are are under no illusion about how difficult the challenge is going to be.

“We’ve been in difficult situations before away from home in Europe and even though we’ve lost the players have coped and handled the situations and I would expect them to do the same on Tuesday night.”

Ready for final

The Premiership champions defeated San Marino’s Tre Frior 2-0 in the preliminary round semi-final in Nyon and they were due to take on Kosovan side Drita at the same venue in the decider last Tuesday.

But after a second Drita player tested positive for Covid-19, the game was cancelled by Uefa with Drita forfeiting the tie.

It still provided a five-day trip in Switzerland for the squad including new signings, with Christy Manzinga scoring on his debut against Tre Triori.

Stoke City provided Linfield with a warm-up game on Saturday for the Champions League tie with the Potters running out 1-0 winners in the Windsor Park friendly.

“The team bonding has been one of the positives of going out to Nyon, with the new boys coming in and the banter was flying around,” added Healy.

“It gave them a chance to be away with the more experienced players and to see them bed in. We trained well and I felt he boys were peaking at the right time for the Drita game

“The boys can go and showcase themselves as individuals, as a team and as a club on Tuesday night.

“Legia Warsaw are probably be as good as what we have faced – they ran Rangers close last year in the Europa League last season and their European record is there to be seen.

“Hopefully we can put a show. As difficult and challenging as the tie may be we can go there, perform there, play well and who knows?”

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