Dundalk v Legia background

Dundalk are on a mission to become the first team from the Republic of Ireland to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage as they welcome Legia Warszawa in the play-offs.

Dundalk danger man David McMillan
Dundalk danger man David McMillan ©Sportsfile

Dundalk worked a minor miracle by eliminating BATE Borisov in the third qualifying round and will look to create an even bigger stir against Legia Warszawa in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Previous meetings
• The clubs are meeting for the first time in what is Dundalk’s first competitive encounter with Polish opponents.

• Legia first faced Irish opponents when they took on Dublin side Saint Patrick's Athletic in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round; they drew 1-1 at home but recorded a 5-0 win in the away leg.

Match background
• Dundalk made it through two rounds of a UEFA competition for the first time in reaching the play-offs, beating FH Hafnarfjördur and BATE.

Dundalk shocked BATE Borisov in the previous round
Dundalk shocked BATE Borisov in the previous round©Sportsfile

• They are angling to become the first Irish side to reach the group stage of UEFA's top club competition, Shamrock Rovers having been the first League of Ireland outfit to make it to the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2011/12.

• Legia got past Zrinjski and Trenčín in the second and third qualifying rounds respectively.

• Legia lost to Steaua Bucureşti in their only previous UEFA Champions League play-off, in 2013/14.

Team and coach links
• Legia forward Michał Kucharczyk's next European appearance will be his 50th in UEFA competition.

• David McMillan has scored seven UEFA goals – more than all of his Dundalk team-mates combined. Like most of the Dundalk players, he has a day job, working as an architect as well as playing football.

Nemanja Nikolić (right) has four European goals this term
Nemanja Nikolić (right) has four European goals this term©Marek Biczyk

• McMillan went into the play-offs as the joint-top scorer in UEFA Champions League qualifying this season with five goals, one ahead of Legia's Nemanja Nikolić.

Coach profiles
• Briefly a player with Dublin-based Home Farm, Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny is one of the most successful Irish managers of his age, having won one national title with Bohemians and two more in successive seasons with his current club. He also coached in Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic.

• Born in what is now Kosovo, former Albanian international Besnik Hasi made his name as a player in Belgium with Genk and Anderlecht, winning four titles – and another as Anderlecht coach in 2013/14. He took charge of Legia after they clinched the 2015/16 Polish championship under Russian Stanislav Cherchesov.

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