British sides set to learn European opponents

18 June 2017 03:09

The Champions League and Europa League's opening qualifying rounds will be drawn on Monday as British teams get set to learn their first opponents.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham have all earned automatic spots into the Champions League group stage, but five British sides will have to go through qualification to join them.

Clubs cannot draw teams from the same country and will also be separated into seeds for the first round, decided by UEFA's co-efficient rankings established at the start of the season.

There are three qualifying rounds and then a final play-off round before the group stage, with Scottish champions Celtic entered into the second qualifying round, along with Irish side Dundalk.

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.

Liverpool, who finished fourth in the Premier League last season, are entered straight into the play-off round.

Arsenal's fifth-place finish meant they missed out on the Champions League and instead earned an automatic place in the Europa League group stage.

The Europa League's first and second qualifying rounds will also be drawn on Monday and 11 British sides will be pulled out of the pot.

They are St Johnstone and Rangers from Scotland, Crusaders, Coleraine and Ballymena United from Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland's Shamrock Rovers, Cork City and Derry City.

Welsh trio Bala Town, Connah's Quay Nomads and Bangor City will also be fighting it out in the first round, while Aberdeen will learn which of two first-round teams they will take on in the second round.

Rangers, St Johnstone and Crusaders are all seeded.

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 first qualifying rounds will be played on June 27 and 28, with the second legs coming a week later on July 4 and 5.

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

Source: PA


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