Preview - Flamurtari(a)

Last updated : 14 July 2009 By Firparkcorner

What we do know of our opponents is that they finished sixth in their league and they enter the competition at this stage as winners of their domestic cup. Reports suggest that they carry a large and enthusiastic home support and the few dozen Motherwell fans who make the trip of a lifetime to cheer on the Steelmen will have a tough job making themselves heard.

We know little enough as yet of the new manager's philosophy to predict what our tactics will be. Do we set out in an attacking formation intent on snatching a valuable away goal? Many felt that our defensive display in Nancy was an error but there will be few survivors of that Uefa Cup campaign on show for this encounter. Should we attempt to shut up shop and stifle the game hoping for a goalless draw? Knowing our weakness in that area suggests that strategy would be risky.

Jim Gannon will have one new face in the squad. Steven Jennings is described as a 'wholehearted midfielder'. There is every possibility that he'll make his debut on Thursday. Presumably Sutton will lead the line but will he get the same service from the wings that produced the goals last week?

One certainty is that the home team will be in an attacking formation and they will be looking to take a lead into the second leg. Our defence will be tested and the players will have to give their full concentration for ninety minutes. The display in Llanelli suggested that the cobwebs evident in the first game of the season can be overcome.

The game is scheduled for a 1730 local time kick off in Vlorë (that's 1630 in the UK) and the draw for the 3rd qualifying round takes place on Friday. With any luck we will come home with the tie very much alive and a 1-1 in the bag.