Shamrock Rovers go into Thursday's night’s Europa League Qualifying second leg clash in the best shape of the three SSE Airtricity Premier Division teams, playing at home and bringing two away goals to Tallaght Stadium after their 2-2 draw in Norway.
Roberto Lopes’ injury time equaliser against SK Brann means that Rovers go into their second leg clash knowing that a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw would be enough for them to book their place in the second qualifying round.
However, despite carrying the away goal advantage into the game with them, Rovers manager Stephen Bradley is cautioning against over-confidence and insists that he will not send his side out to just claim a draw.
"It doesn’t matter to us if people look at us as favourites now," he said. "What we have to understand is that we’re playing a very good side. It’s going to be a difficult game but I said before the first leg it’s a tie that we fully believe we can win and nothing changes that.
"We still have to go and win this game. There’s no other way of approaching it and they’ll obviously think the same. You can’t sit in against a team like this. If you do that you’re asking for trouble and you’re going to get punished."
The Hoops have often dominated games this season without getting the goals to reflect that and their struggles to convert chances has seen them drift off the league pace set by Dundalk.
To that end, Rovers have added Graham Cummins to their squad and he quietly impressed from off the bench against Brann in the first leg. Cummins would appear to have to settle for a place on the bench once again however, with Aaron Greene and Dan Carr both vying to lead the line.
Bradley looks likely to go with a similar line-up and approach to the first leg, with crosses from out wide and free-kicks again likely to offer Rovers’ best chances of scoring.
Brann’s veteran goalkeeper Hakon Opdal is wary of the threat that Rovers will offer from the flanks and dead-balls and he cautioned against chasing the game during the early stages in Tallaght.
"Unnecessary set pieces are something we must try to avoid," Opdal said. "We must also be a little more patient both defensive and offensive, and finally we need to get a little more around their backline. I think this is the way to go to take them away.
"Shamrock Rovers is a good football team and we must be extra well prepared. We have shown that we are good away from home, so we should bring with us the confidence when we go over."
Rovers have no new injury worries and Neil Farrugia is their only absentee as he steps up his return from injury. Aaron McEniff came on as a second-half substitute against Brann in the first leg and is in the reckoning again.
Bradley may opt to spring McEniff from the bench once more and is counting on a large and vocal home support to play their part in Tallaght.
"You have to respect that they’re a good side," he said of Brann. "They will create chances and we have to be ready for that but we’ll go to win the game like we did last week.
"If we get the crowd that we’re hoping for it’ll make for a really special atmosphere. It’s a massive game for us and hopefully we can get a big crowd to help us get over the line."