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Champions League Wednesday predictions: Linfield braced for response
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Dan McCarthy
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David Healy's Linfield beat Bodo/Glimt 1-0 in the first leg
David Healy's Linfield beat Bodo/Glimt 1-0 in the first leg

There are six second-leg ties in the Champions League second qualifying round tonight, with Linfield aiming to continue their eye-catching progress.

David Healy's side secured a hugely impressive 1-0 first-leg win against Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt last week thanks to a late goal from Kirk Millar. 

The Northern Irish outfit still have a lot to do to qualify and are expected to be up against it away from home as they look to keep their Champions League dream alive. 

Other notable teams competing at this stage of the competition include former European Cup runners-up Malmo and Greek giants Olympiacos. 

Bodo/Glimt vs Linfield (Wednesday, 5pm BST)

Linfield will be hoping to make history by reaching the third qualifying round of the Champions League for the first time.

They are in a good position but know a trip to Norway is a very different challenge to the one they had at Windsor Park last week. 

The stats

Currently, Linfield are in their pre-season period, while Bodo/Glimt are well into the Norwegian campaign as it runs through the summer. 

The Scandinavians have won five of their last six league games, keeping four clean sheets in the process. 

However, they have displayed vulnerability in the Champions League qualifiers, conceding three goals against Faroe Islands side Klaksvik in the first qualifying round. 

Linfield were seconds away from going out in the previous round to Welsh team The New Saints when Jamie Mulgrew's equaliser in the 90th minute made it 1-1 on aggregate and forced extra-time.

Ethan Devine then struck in the first period of extra-time to seal a 2-1 win.

Prediction

Linfield put in a great display to win the first leg but they will have to pull something extraordinary out of the bag to beat Bodo/Glimt in the return clash. 

Kjetil Knutsen's side are unbeaten at home in their last seven games, winning the last four, and they will fancy their chances of overturning the first-leg deficit with a victory to nil a distinct possibility.

Malmo vs Zalgiris (Wednesday, 6pm BST)

Swedish side Malmo, who were European runners-up in 1979, also have work to do to get back into this tie after going down 1-0 away to Lithuanian side Zalgiris in the first leg. 

A goal in the first half from Fabien Ourega was enough to secure a slender victory for Zalgiris, but they are likely to have a tough task retaining that lead in Sweden. 

The stats

Malmo qualified for the group stage of the Champions League last season, so being 1-0 down will not intimidate them too much. 

Aside from last week's blip, their recent form has been good. 

Milos Milojevic's side have won eight of their last 11 across all competitions and they saw off Vikingur Reykjavik in the previous round 6-5 on aggregate.

Zalgiris' away record in this competition is very suspect, losing six of their last nine games, so they are unlikely to be approaching this second leg with too much confidence. 

After drawing 1-1 at home against Kosovan side Ballkani in the first leg of the first qualifying round, they edged into the second round thanks to a 1-0 win away after extra-time.  

Prediction

Experience counts in these situations and if Malmo can get an early goal then they should be able to go on and win this tie comfortably. 

Olympiacos vs Maccabi Haifa (Wednesday, 8pm BST)

This game is finely poised with the score 1-1 after the first leg. 

Philip Zinckernagel scored very early on to give Olympiacos the lead but a last-gasp equaliser from Dolev Haziza means it is level ahead of the clash in Greece. 

Dolev Haziza was on target for Maccabi Haifa in the first leg
Dolev Haziza was on target for Maccabi Haifa in the first leg

The stats

Olympiacos have lost just one of their last seven competitive fixtures at home, while they have plenty of recent European experience, having made the group stage of the Champions League in two of the last three years. 

Maccabi, meanwhile, have not been in the group stage of any European competition since the Europa League in 2013 and they have only won two of their last six competitive games. 

Prediction

This looks to be another game in which having home advantage for the second leg could be key. 

Olympiacos led for much of the first leg and their superior Champions League experience, coupled with Maccabi's questionable form, means the Greek team should progress.

Tags

LinfieldBodoe/GlimtMalmoe FFOlympiacosMaccabi HaifaZalgiris VilniusChampions League
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