Shamrock Rovers will welcome Shkupi to Tallaght Stadium for the opening leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifier on Thursday night.
Both sides have dropped down from the Champions qualifiers after falling on aggregate to both Ludogorets and Dinamo Zagreb respectively in the second round last week.
Shamrock Rovers’ 2-1 win in the returning leg against Ludogorets was not enough to see them through to the third qualifying round of the Champions League as the result saw them fall to 4-2 on aggregate defeat, having earlier fallen to 3-0 loss in the first leg.
Meanwhile, Shkupi after emphatically dispatching Lincoln rem Imps 5-0 on aggregate in the first round of the Champions League, they could not get passed Dinamo Zagreb in the following round as they succumbed to 3-2 on aggregate defeat. They managed a 2-2 draw in the opening leg but fall to a 1-0 loss in the second leg at home.
The two now will feel they have chance to make it to the group stage of the Europa League but they will need to bring their A-games to see that through.
Shamrock Rovers will fancy their chances in this first leg, as they have a home advantage and are coming off a confidence-boosting 4-0 away win over Bangor Celtic in round one of the FAI Cup last Friday. They have now claimed back-to-back victories while have only lost one of their last 10 games across all competitions, and haven’t lost any of their last 21 home matches.
Shkupi meanwhile have been struggling for form and have only won one of their last six games, and have failed to win any of their last five away games. They therefore have a lot to make amends for before the Thursday fixture.
Shamrock Rovers vs Shkupi head to head
This will be the first encounter between the two sides. Take a look at their previous results;
- Bangor Celtic 0-4 Shamrock
- Shamrock 2-1 Ludogorets
- Shamrock 1-1 Drogheda United
- Ludogorets 3-0 Shamrock
- Hibernians 0-0 Shamrock
- Shkupi 0-1 Dinamo Zagreb
- Dinamo Zagreb 2-2 Shkupi
- Lincoln Red Imps 2-0 Shkupi
- Shkupi 3-0 Lincoln Red Imps
- Fenerbahce 2-2 Shkupi
Shamrock Rovers team news
Shamrock have no injury concerns ahead of the Thursday’s clash.
Shkupi team news
Shkupi will be without forward Walid Hamidi due to injury.
Prediction and odds
- Shamrock Rovers win
- Both sides to score
- Goals over 2.5