Friday 24 November 2017

Mahon eyes chinks in Icelandic armour

Due to the short notice from the time of the draw and some awkward travelling logistics, St Patrick's Athletic manager Pete Mahon has had to take a leaf out of Giovanni Trapattoni's scouting manual and do his homework on Europa League opponents IBV Vestmannaeyjar via DVD.

The Saints' last training session in Dublin prior to their departure for Reykjavik was centred on just how IBV, second in their league, might play.

"Preparation has gone quite well," said Mahon ahead of tonight's first qualifying round first-leg tie.

"We've looked at the DVD and they are something along the lines of Sligo Rovers in that they play a 4-3-3 system.

"They have some good players with good rotation and movement. It's very flexible and we'll have to match that.

"But, like any team, they have weaknesses. They have weaknesses at the back -- in the full-back positions -- and I wouldn't be mad about the goalkeeper.

"We have a chance. If we can get enough of the ball, I think we can give them problems."

Matching their three midfielders and snuffing out the threat of 36-year-old striker Tryggvi Guomundsson, who scored 12 times in 42 internationals for Iceland, is central to the Saints' game plan.

With Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Bradley and Danny North all fit following injuries and knocks, Mahon has a full squad at his disposal.

"We'll definitely try to win it. I think the two boys (Kavanagh and North) we have up front will give them a bit of trouble with their pace."

ST PAT'S ATH (probable 4-3-3) -- Rogers; Pender, E McMillan, Shortall, Bermingham; Crowley, Mulcahy, Bradley; Kavanagh, North, Doyle.

Irish Independent

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