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Tuesday 20 November 2018

No Swede draw for the hoops in Europa draw

Rovers take on AIK, while Dundalk face Levadia Talinn in Euro exams

Sebastian Larsson, pictured here after Sweden’s World Cup Group F win over South Korea last Sunday, will face a Europa League clash against Shamrock Rovers with his new club AIK next month
Sebastian Larsson, pictured here after Sweden’s World Cup Group F win over South Korea last Sunday, will face a Europa League clash against Shamrock Rovers with his new club AIK next month

Shamrock Rovers face another trip to Scandinavia after the draw for the first round of the Europa League pitted the Hoops against Swedish side AIK.

Stephen Bradley's side got past Icelandic side Stjarnan at the first hurdle last year, but the draw was not as kind this time around.

AIK finished runners-up in Sweden last year and the Stockholm-based club are currently sitting second in this year's title race.

They have just completed a deal to bring Sebastian Larsson back home after his participation in the World Cup.

Rovers are at home first on July 12 and the return takes place in Stockholm seven days later.

Rovers boss Stephen Bradley
Rovers boss Stephen Bradley

As a warm-up to their Europa clash, Rovers will face Celtic in a friendly at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday July 7th.

If they get through, the Hoops will take on Danish side Nordsjaelland or Northern Ireland's Cliftonville in the next round.

Like Rovers, Derry City were unseeded and they face an extremely tricky tie against Dinamo Minsk of Belarus and the reward for getting through will be a showdown with either Dunajská Streda of Slovakia or Dinamo Tbilisi of Georgia.

Minsk are no strangers to Irish shores, having narrowly beaten St Patrick's Athletic 2-1 on aggregate in the same competition back in 2016.

Dundalk were seeded and they will fancy their chances of getting past Levadia Tallinn of Estonia.

Stephen Kenny and his Lilywhites side were also on the seeded side of the second round draw and know they will face Cypriot outfit Larnaca if they advance.

Stephen Kenny
Stephen Kenny

Remarkably, that's the exact same route that their arch rivals Cork faced 12 months ago.

They beat Levadia 6-2 on aggregate before losing both legs to Larnaca by a 1-0 margin.

Europa League ties involving Irish and British clubs

Glenavon/Molde v Anorthosis Famagusta/Laci; Aberdeen v Burnley; Rudar Pljevlja/artizan v Cefn Druids/Trakai/Irtysh; Cliftonville/Nordsjaelland v Shamrock Rovers/AIK; Rudar Velenje/Tre Fiori/Bala Town v FCSB; Levadia Tallinn/Dundalk v AEK Larnaca; Spartak Subotica/Coleraine v Sparta Prague; Petrocub/Osijek v Rangers/Shkupi; Dunajska Streda/Dinamo Tbilisi v Derry City/Dinamo Minsk; Connah's Quay/Shakhtyor Soligorsk v Lech Poznan/Gandzasar-Kapan; Hibernian/NSI Runavik v Asteras Tripolis.

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