Journalist tells us why Dundalk's opponents won't receive universal support from Polish fans in Ireland

Off The Ball spoke to Michal Zachodny ahead of the first leg against Legia Warsaw

Legia Warsaw,

Legia Warszawa supporters ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Two games and one team stand between Dundalk and a piece of Irish football history.

That team is Legia Warsaw of Poland and the two games are the first and second legs of the Champions League playoff round tie. Get through that and Dundalk go where no Irish team has gone before: into the group stages of Europe's elite club competition.

Ahead of tonight's first leg at Aviva Stadium, Off The Ball spoke to Polish football writer and scout Michal Zachodny about the potential threat posed by this Legia team.

"They haven't been in top form recently, not because they are a poor side but because they have their mind strictly on Dundalk. You could see in the previous game in the league, that they are withdrawing themselves from any duels, not looking at any possibility to get injured or any knocks," he said.

"Polish teams haven't been in the Champions League group stages for 20 years. It's a huge gap in time and so much change since 1996 when Legia played against Blackburn who were obviously English champions." 

With a strong Polish community in Ireland, Legia could count on strong support in Dublin, although Zachodny does not think it will be close to universal.

"Not every Polish emigrant will support Legia because Legia is the biggest club in Poland. One of my English-speaking colleagues compared them to like Manchester United. They are the biggest club historically as well but not necessarily the most loved around the country," he said.

"Talking to fans and seeing the discussions on Twitter, for example, I don't see fans of Lech Poznan supporting Legia Warsaw That might not be the case at the Aviva Stadium and I know in Dublin there were discussions [that] not every Polish fan might be supporting Legia. But still I believe the support for the Polish champions will be huge in Dublin."