Lincoln take on Feronikeli tonight in Prishtina, with the winner progressing to Friday’s Champions League Preliminary Round Final against Santa Coloma.
Graphic © Johnny Napoli
Gibraltar’s league champions were drawn against the toughest of their three potential semi-final opponents, but will look to spoil the party in Kosovo and move one step closer to a 1st Qualifying Round tie against The New Saints.
Their opponents, Feronikeli, are making their maiden appearance in European competition, but will still demand the utmost respect, with Kosovar teams better than their ranking, which is still in its infancy, suggests. The Black Tigers, as they are known, won the league by five points from Prishtina, who local fans will be familiar of, and 32 points clear of Drita, who knocked Lincoln out at this round last season.
Lincoln are believed to have no injury issues ahead of the game, with Lee Casciaro believed to have recovered from the injury he sustained on national duty against Ireland. There will also be a host of potential debutants in the face of their new summer signings, including former Europa defender Jesus Toscano, while returning defender Ethan Britto could also be involved at some point.
Tonight’s hosts have only lose once in the league in 2019, and boast an impressive domestic record in the last two months – they have also bought in a number of players and appear to have a young, dynamic squad at their disposal. The winner’s of tonight’s game would be expected to be favourites vs Santa Coloma, who beat Tre Penne 1-0 earlier this afternoon courtesy of a goal from Javier Lopez Iglesias with 15 minutes to go.
Feronikeli go into the game as 1/3 favourites, understandable given their presumed strengths and home advantage, while Lincoln are 7/1 underdogs to take the win in 90 minutes. A draw in 90 minutes, which occurred when Lincoln faced Drita last summer, is currently 15/4, while goals aren’t expected to be flowing – under 2.5 goals is currently odds on at 4/6.