Rovers miss key duo for UEFA clash

Dublin club Shamrock Rovers will be without key midfielders Marc Kenny and Derek Tracey for tonight's UEFA Cup qualifier against top Swedish side Djurgardens.

Dublin club Shamrock Rovers will be without key midfielders Marc Kenny and Derek Tracey for tonight's UEFA Cup qualifier against top Swedish side Djurgardens.

Kenny is paying the price for being sent off in an Intertoto Cup first-round tie against Turkish club Altay Spor four years ago and now starts a three-match ban.

Manager Liam Buckley also rates Tracey "very doubtful" for the first-round first leg clash at Tolka Park due to an Achilles tendon problem.

To add to Rovers` problems, striker Tony Grant is scheduled to have a late fitness test on a thigh injury picked up in Sunday's scoreless draw with UCD in the Premier Division.

In the absence of Kenny and Tracey, the experienced Jason Colwell and Greg Costello are expected to be handed the midfield roles.

First Division side Dundalk face a monumental task to reach the next round as they travel to Croatia to tackle Varteks, conquerors of Aston Villa last season.

Manager Martin Murray will give late fitness tests to defenders Robbie Brunton (thigh) and Noel Melvin (knee) before naming his side but defender Donal Broughan is definitely out suspended.

Former Huddersfield player Gary Haylock, a veteran of 28 previous matches in Europe with Linfield, Portadown, Panionios and Shelbourne, looks likely to lead the attack despite carrying a knock.

While likely to play Haylock as a lone striker, Murray will encourage midfield men Martin Reilly, Chris Lawless and David Ward to push forward at every opportunity in the hope of keeping the tie alive for the second leg at Tolka Park in a fortnight's time.

Bangor City go into their 16th match in European football with a `home' game against FK Sartid Smederevo from Yugoslavia, although they will be playing at Wrexham's Racecourse Stadium.

It is almost 40 years since Bangor opened their European experience with a memorable 2-0 victory at home to Napoli.

The much-travelled Welsh international Clayton Blackmore, now aged 38, is probably the most recognisable name in the Bangor squad but the player who was most likely to make a breakthrough is no longer with the club.

Star striker Marc Lloyd-Williams, scorer of 47 league goals last season, signed for Conference side Southport last month and has been replaced by Lee Hunt.

Former Cardiff City keeper John Hallworth and the ex-Manchester United striker Simon Davies are also in the Bangor squad.

Former League of Wales champions Total Network Solutions face KS Amica Wronki in Poland knowing the odds are stacked against them, having not won in any of their six previous European matches.

Strikers Justin Perry and John Toner and semi-professional international cap Ricky Evans are the men that TNS are relying on.

Former Northern Ireland and Dundee United midfielder Michael O'Neill has been passed fit for Glentoran's encounter with Poland`s Wisla Krakow at the Oval in Belfast.

O'Neill, signed a month ago on a year's contract, damaged his hand when he fell awkwardly in last weekend's Irish Premiership 4-0 victory over Institute.

Glentoran manager Roy Coyle said: "At first we thought there was a break. However an X-ray has fortunately revealed severe bruising.

"He is still experiencing slight pain but there is nothing to worry about, no complications or doubts."

The Irish League runners-up, are free of injury worries apart from winger Tim McCann, who is out with an ankle injury.

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