Published Tuesday, 03 July 2012
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The Ports face Macedonian side FK Skendija in the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round, while the Blues meet B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands in the first leg of their Champions League preliminary round.
Portadown have been given less than a week to prepare for the logistically problematic trip to Macedonia for their tie and manager Ronnie McFall had admitted he knows very little about his side's opponents.
Skendija finished third in the Macedonian First League last season and should provide difficult opposition at the Gradski Stadion Tetovo.
The match gets underway at 4.30pm, with the Ports missing captain Keith O'Hara and Chris Ramsey.
New signings Chris Casement, Joe O'Neill and Darren Murphy haven't been included in McFall's squad.
Linfield have been made 1/9 favourites to win the game by some bookmakers, but team captain Michael Gault expects a tough game at Windsor Park.
"They were training here last night and some of the boys had a chance to watch them." he told UTV.
"They are a typical European side. They're very big, so it's going to be really tough for our players. We're not taking them lightly at all."
We'll be treating it like any other match, giving it 100% and hopefully we'll get a good result.
Michael Gault, Linfield
Blues goalie and Northern Ireland international Alan Blayney has been ruled out after failing to recover from the groin and hamstring injuries that forced him to sit out the weekend's friendly against Bangor City.
Linfield will also be without defender William Murphy and midfield pair Michael Gault and Philip Lowry.
New signing Ryan Henderson is on holiday, but Albert Watson has return from his leave and should be available.
Linfield at least have their best chance of winning a European tie for some time, having had tougher draws against the likes of Dinamo Zagreb, Bate and Rosenburg in recent years.
"The last time we got through it was against Ventspils and we went on to win the clean sweep, so it sets you up nicely," Gault added.
"The last few years, we've been up against really good opposition and we didn't have much chance of going through. This time we're hoping to go through and hopefully that'll set us up really well domestically."
Tuesday night's game at Windsor Park kicks off at 7.45pm.
The second leg is to be played next Tuesday in the Faroe Islands and the winners of the tie will move onto a meeting with Cypriots AEL Limassol in the second preliminary round.