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'Anything can happen': Linfield believe they can make history against Anderlecht in Champions League

Women's Champions League


Linfield Ladies are in Anderlecht for a one-off Champions League tie.

Linfield Ladies are in Anderlecht for a one-off Champions League tie.

Phil Lewis

Phil Lewis


Linfield Ladies are in Anderlecht for a one-off Champions League tie.

Linfield Ladies manager Phil Lewis will motivate his players with the message 'anything can happen' as they attempt to make history tonight.

Lewis is well aware of the task facing the Blues when they meet Anderlecht in the first qualifying round of the Women's Champions League having also played the Belgian giants in last season's competition.

Anderlecht were 3-1 winners back then in a winner-takes-all final match of the group stages. This time the first and second rounds are one-off ties and the incentive for the Blues is to make the next stage, something no Northern Ireland side has done.

"They're a professional outfit, we try to be as professional as we can when we turn up to train," said Lewis.

"It's a one-off this time, and with it being a one-off anything can happen in a game of football.

"They haven't played since October 18. I know we haven't had games, but we have had friendly games which were competitive and hopefully that helps us."

The evidence of Anderlecht's quality can be seen in the fact that nine of their players were in the Belgium squad that took a step closer to Euro 2022 qualification last week, and midfielder Tine de Caigny has scored 10 times in just seven qualifiers.

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In contrast, Linfield have travelled to Brussels with 10 teenagers in the travelling party. Lewis, however, is keen to ensure that his youthful squad take the opportunity of playing in Anderlecht's own Lotto Park stadium to learn at a young age.

"It was a tremendous experience for the girls playing at the Anderlecht stadium last year and with it being at night time under lights it will add to the experience for them this time," he said.

"They are a good team. We played very, very well to come out with a 3-1 defeat. We'll do what Northern Irish teams do - backs to the wall and see if we can get out on the break."

Meanwhile, domestically Sion Swifts Ladies will attempt to go top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership when they host Crusaders Strikers tonight (8pm). Derry City Women's trip to leaders Glentoran Women has been postponed.

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