British teams will learn European qualifying opponents

British sides set to learn European opponents

Consequently, it could throw up some interesting ties with Rangers, Maccabi Tel-Aviv (who were beaten in the home fixture by Dundalk last season), St Johnstone and Cillian Sheridan's Jagiellonia Białystok among the potential opponents awaiting Derry, Cork and Shamrock Rovers. Dundalk beat Maccabi in the group stage (and lost a hard-fought game 2-1 in the away leg), but the three Irish sides will still be looking to avoid what is on paper the strongest club in the round, especially with star names such as Tal Ben Haim, Yossi Benayoun and Pedrag Rajkovic in the squad.

However, the Irish trio can not come up against fellow unseeded sides Ballymena United, Coleraine, Bala Town, Bangor City and Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, who famously beat Celtic in a first-leg Champions League qualifier last season, before going down 3-0 to the Scottish champions in the second leg.

They will each discover which first-round match they are due to face the winners of, while Northern Ireland's Linfield and Welsh club The New Saints, both seeded, are waiting to find out their first-round opponents.

Celtic's Uefa co-efficient - the highest of any side in the second qualifying round - will guarantee they can't draw the likes of BATE Borisov, Legia Warsaw, FC Copenhagen or RB Salzburg. Tommy Wright's St Johnstone will take on FK Trakai (Lithuania).

Everton will start the tournament in the third qualifying round as they bid to earn a play-off and then a place in the group stage.

The opening leg of the Champions League's second qualifying rounds will be played on 11 and 12 July with the second legs the following week.

The Europa League's first round ties will take place on June 29 and July 6.



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