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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Cork City satisfied as Europa League draw hands Irish clubs tough away days

All three Irish clubs will travel away in their respective first legs in the Europa League on 29 June before return legs on 6 July.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE FATE OF Irish clubs in the first round of Europa League qualification has been decided, with league leaders Cork City drawing FC Levadia Tallinn of Estonia.

Derry City have been handed a tough draw and will face Denmark’s FC Midtjylland, while Shamrock Rovers have drawn Icelandic club Stjarnan, with all three first legs taking place away.

Midtjylland finished fifth in the Danish Superliga in 2016/17. They made it through three rounds of qualification last summer, before being beaten 3-0 by Turkish club Osmanlıspor in the play-off.

They navigated their way to the last 32 of the Europa League the year before where they were beaten 6-3 on aggregate by Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United.

Cork City will be the happiest of all three Irish clubs having drawn Levadia Tallinn.

The club are currently second in the Estonian top tier and were only founded 19 years ago in 1998.

Rovers, meanwhile, face Icelandic club Stjarnan who finished second in 2016. They are currently third in the Icelandic Premier League with four wins from their opening seven games this season.

They made their first appearance in Europe in 2014 when they made it through all three rounds of qualification before being thumped 9-0 on aggregate by Inter Milan in the play-off.

In 2015 the club were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Celtic in the second round of Uefa Champions League qualification.

Earlier this morning Dundalk were handed a tough draw in the second round of the Uefa Champions League. They will face Rosenborg BK of Norway, with the first leg taking place in Ireland in three weeks’ time on either the 11th or 12th of July.

Fixtures for the Europa League first round will take place on 29 June and 6 July.

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