Europa League: Roy Carroll set for Linfield debut against Cork

New Linfield goalkeeper Roy Carroll has won 44 caps for Northern Ireland
New Linfield goalkeeper Roy Carroll has won 44 caps for Northern Ireland

Roy Carroll could make his debut for Linfield in Thursday's Europa League first qualifying round first leg tie against Cork City at Windsor Park.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper was part of Northern Ireland's squad for Euro 2016 in France but comes straight into contention for Linfield's home tie.

Cliftonville face an away tie with FC Differdange of Luxembourg on Thursday.

Irish Cup champions Glenavon are also away in the first leg, against Iceland's KR Reykjavik.

Linfield manager David Healy is looking forward to his team's clash with Cork.

"It's a derby match, it'll be competitive, and I will make sure the players are well aware of their responsibilities," he told the club website.

"We want to put last season out of our system and start afresh.

"They've got good players, but so have we, I hope we turn up and perform."

Exciting club 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 (BST: 1945).

Glenavon striker Kevin Braniff is an injury doubt for the Europa League first leg tie against FC Reykjavik
Glenavon striker Kevin Braniff is an injury doubt for the Europa League first leg tie against FC Reykjavik

Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton doesn't expect Iceland's Euro 2016 heroics to have any impact on his team's Europa League hopes on Thursday.

The Lurgan Blues face KR Reykjavik away in a Europa League first qualifying round first leg tie, with top striker Kevin Braniff among the injury doubts.

Icelandic football is on a high after their shock 2-1 victory over England in last 16 of Euro 2016 on Monday.

"I don't think that will have anything to do with our game," said Hamilton.

"Northern Ireland doing well doesn't have an impact on us, so it's the same for them."

Former Blackburn Rovers, Portadown and Glentoran striker Gary Hamilton won five caps for Northern Ireland
Former Blackburn Rovers, Portadown and Glentoran striker Gary Hamilton won five caps for Northern Ireland

Glenavon travel to Iceland on a chartered flight on Wednesday and will be without striker Declan O'Brien and midfielder Andy McGrory who are on holidays.

Kevin Braniff and defender David Elebert may be unavailable through injury while James Singleton and Kyle Neill are long-term injury absentees.

The Irish Cup champions returned to training over three weeks ago but Hamilton recognises they face a difficult challenge (BST: 20:15).

"They [Reykjavik] are 11 games into their season and they are full-time.

"They also sacked their manager recently so players are playing for their futures under the new coaching staff. That makes things a little bit more difficult.

"We just want to give a good account of ourselves and give us something to play for in the second leg."

The first round second leg ties takes place on Thursday 7 July.

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