SHAMROCK ROVERS WILL be packing their bags for a tricky tie against RSC Anderlecht if they progress to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
The Hoops go into next week’s second leg against FK Ekranas of Lithuania with the tie poised at 0-0, but know now their potential destination following this morning’s draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
The first leg will take place in Belgium on either 31 July or 1 August with the return pencilled in for Tallaght on 7/8 August, with those dates subject to confirmation. Fans are advised to wait for final confirmation before arranging travel plans.
Anderlecht are Belgium’s most successful club with 31 league titles. Once one of European football’s big guns, they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1982 and 1986 and made back-to-back quarter-final appearances in 1987 and 1988.
The Belgians also have European silverware in the trophy cabinet having won the UEFA Cup in 1983 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup/Super Cup double in 1976 and again in 1978.
Meanwhile, Scottish champions Celtic are all but certain to face HJK Helsinki when they enter this year’s competition in the third qualifying round. Helsinki hammered Icelandic side KR Reykjavik 7-0 when the sides met in their first leg tie earlier this week.
Motherwell will face Panathinaikos, runners-up in the Greek Superleague last season.
St Patrick’s Athletic go into next week’s home leg against NK Siroki Brijeg with the possibility of a plum tie against Bundesliga side Hannover 96 awaiting in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. If they progress, Liam Buckley’s men look set to host the first leg in Dublin on 2 August with the return in Germany a week later on 9 August, subject to confirmation.
Sligo Rovers have been drawn away to Steaua Bucharest of Romania in the first leg of their third round tie but before they get that far, the Airtricity League leaders will need to pull it out of the bag against Spartak Trnava who lead 3-1 following last night’s second round first leg.
Brendan Rogers will take charge of his first competitive fixture as Liverpool boss in either Macedonia or Belarus after the Reds were pitted against the winner of FK Renova v FC Gomel.
Eskisehirspor or St Johnstone will face Olympique Marseille while Dundee United meet Dinamo Moscow.