Champions League play-offs: Man Utd battle Club Brugge, Celtic meet Malmo
Manchester United, 20/1 chances to go all the way upon their return to Europe with Coral, have drawn Belgian team Club Brugge in the 2015/16 Champions League play-offs.
Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, meanwhile, will play Swedish counterparts Malmo for the right to be in the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition. This tie should appeal to Bhoys boys Ronny Deila, who hails from Norway – the neighbouring Scandinavian nation.
Man Utd are facing 1978 losing finalists Club Brugge for the first time, while Celtic’s clash is also an initial encounter with Malmo, who were European Cup runners-up the following year when falling to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.
All ties will be playing across Tuesday August 18th and Wednesday 19th, with the return legs played the following week on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th.
Away from British interest in the Champions League, there is a tasty looking tie between La Liga outfit Valencia and Ligue 1 heavyweights Monaco. Seire A side Lazio, meanwhile, meet Bundesliga boys Bayer Leverkusen.
Teams that lose in the play-offs will enter the Europa League group stage. Also vying to reach that phase are Southampton, who are the only British team presently competing in this other European competition.
Aberdeen and West Ham United both bowed out in the third qualifying round, but Saints eased past Vitesse Arnhem, and Ronald Koeman’s club will now play Danish team FC Midtjylland in the Europa play-offs.
Ajax and Fenerbahce, meanwhile, who both slumped to Champions League qualifying exits, have dropped down into this secondary competition
Champions League play-offs draw in full
FC Astana v APOEL Nicosia
Skenderbeu Korce v Dinamo Zagreb
Celtic v Malmo
Basel v Maccabi Tel Aviv
BATE Borisov v Partizan Belgrade
Lazio v Bayer Leverkusen
Manchester United v Club Brugge
Sporting Lisbon v CSKA Moscow
Rapid Vienna v Shakhtar Donetsk
Valencia v Monaco