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Crusaders striker Michael Halliday says the Belfast side will be severely tested by the visit of Fulham in their Europa League tie on Thursday night.

A capacity crowd is expected at Seaview to see Crusaders take on Martin Jol’s side and, although he’s looking forward to the occasion, Halliday knows just how tough a task awaits against the Premier League side.

It is really massive for this club. Ever since the draw was made we have been dreaming about this game.

The fixture has generated a buzz and there should be a full house on Thursday. It is huge, and we are under no illusions. But at the same time we should be looking forward to a game against an English top-flight side. It puts Crusaders Football Club in the limelight.

The 32 year-old accepts the Irish League side are huge underdogs.

That’s fair to say, paticularly when we play the second leg at Craven Cottage. But you never know in football. They say it is a funny old game and in a one-off game at Seaview anything can happen.

We obviously want to give a good account of ourselves and try and keep the tie alive for the second leg. We would love to make the two games as competitive as possible.

Halliday recalled his tough evening when he lined up against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly for Glentoran.

I was up against Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic that night and it is just a different level altogether. United played at a different pace and passed the ball around us.

We had to work hard to compete and it will be similar against Fulham on Thursday. We know it will be tough in both legs, but we are looking forward to the challenge of pitting our wits against an English Premier League club.