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Sligo Rovers to meet Molde in Champions League

Updated: Monday, 24 Jun 2013 21:26 | Comments

Sligo Rovers exited European competition in the second qualifying round of the Europa League last season after suffering a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Slovak side Spartak Trnava
Sligo Rovers exited European competition in the second qualifying round of the Europa League last season after suffering a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Slovak side Spartak Trnava

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Sligo Rovers have been drawn against Norwegian side Molde in the Champions League second qualifying round.

The Airtricity League Premier Division champions will face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges at the Showgrounds on 16/17 July, with the second leg at Aker Stadion scheduled for 23/24 July.

Should the the Bit O'Red overcome Molde, they will still need to progress past two more teams to reach the group stage of the competition.

Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough, who trained for his UEFA ‘A’ Licence with Solskjaer at Lilleshall in England several years ago, is looking forward to the task ahead, saying: “Molde have won their domestic titles twice in succession and like us have been building and building to try to become the top team in their country.

"I will try to get to Molde and take in a game like we did last year against Trnava to get as much information as possible and give ourselves the best chance.

“I think when you are in the draw and unseeded, you will always face a team that will provide an extremely hard challenge and you have to be at your very best to go through. But this is an exciting draw for everyone.”

Elsewhere, Danske Bank Premiership kingpins Cliftonville have secured a lucrative draw against Scottish Premier League winners Celtic.

The draw for the first qualifying round qualifying round of the Europa League also took place in Nyon, Switzerland today.

Airtricity League Premier Division leaders St Patrick’s Athletic have been pitted against Lithuanian opposition in the form of Zalgiris.

The Saints, who advanced to the third qualifying round of last season’s competition before being eliminated by German side Hannover, commence their campaign in Vilnius.

Drogheda United have been drawn against Swedish powerhouse Malmo.

Derry City were in the pot for the second qualifying round and they pulled out a tough test in Turkish side Trabzonspor. The Turks previously played Bray Wanderers in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1990.

Northern Irish sides Crusaders, Glentoran and Linfield all feature in the first qualifying round draw, with Crues set to face Norwegian side Rosenborg for a second year running.

The first legs of the competition will be played on 4/11 July, with the second legs taking place on 18/25 July.

UEFA Champions League first and second qualifying round draw:

First Qualifying Round:

Shirak v Tre Penne

Lusitanos v EB/Streymur

Ties to be played 2/3 and 9/10 July

Second Qualifying Round:

Neftci v Skenderbeu

Steaua Bucuresti v Vardar

Plzen v Zeljeznicar

FC Sheriff v Sutjeska

Birkirkara v Maribor

Sligo Rovers v Molde FK

IF Elfsborg v FC Daugava

HJK Helsinki v Nomme Kalju

FK Ekranas v FH Hafnarfjordur

The New Saints v Legia Warsaw

Celtic v Cliftonville

Dinamo Zagreb v CS Fola Esch

Gyor v Maccabi Tel-Aviv

BATE v Shakhtyor Karaganda

Shirak/Tre Penne v Partizan Belgrade

Slovan Bratislava v Ludogorets

Dinamo Tbilisi v Lusitanos/EB/Streymur

Ties to be played 16/17 and 23/24 July

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