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Irish clubs set to discover Europa and Champions League fate

Dundalk along with Cork City, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City will all have a keen interest in today’s events in Nyon.

Dundalk reached the group stages of the Europa League last season.
Dundalk reached the group stages of the Europa League last season.
Image: Dov Halickman/INPHO

Updated at 10.33

DUNDALK, CORK CITY, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City will discover their European fate this afternoon.

After their phenomenal Europa League exploits last season, Dundalk are Ireland’s sole Champions League representatives this season, have claimed the 2016 League of Ireland title.

Meanwhile, the other three aforementioned Irish clubs will take part in the 2017-18 Europa League campaign.

All Irish clubs involved will be unseeded and apart from Dundalk, the rest will enter into the first round of the Europa League draw, with 100 sides in total entering at this stage.

Consequently, it could throw up some interesting ties with Rangers, Maccabi Tel-Aviv (who were beaten in the home fixture by Dundalk last season), St Johnstone and Cillian Sheridan’s Jagiellonia Białystok among the potential opponents awaiting Derry, Cork and Shamrock Rovers.

However, the Irish trio cannot come up against fellow unseeded sides Ballymena United,  Coleraine, Bala Town, Bangor City and Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, who famously beat Celtic in a first-leg Champions League qualifier last season, before going down 3-0 to the Scottish champions in the second leg.

Should any or all of the Irish sides progress, they could conceivably come up against sides entering the competition in the second round, including Galatasaray, Brøndby, Utrecht and Aberdeen.

By contrast, for the Champions League draw, Dundalk will enter in the second round, but like the other Irish teams, they don’t have a high enough Uefa coefficient to be seeded.

Therefore, Celtic, Rosenborg, Malmo and Legia Warsaw (who they lost out to last year) are among the opponents the Lilywhites could face.

Second-round Champions League ties will take place on the weeks of 11/12 and 18/19 July, while first-round Europa League ties are set for 29 June and 6 July.

The draw for both competitions gets underway at 11am Irish time in Nyon, Switzerland later today.

More info on the Champions League draw can be found here and the Europa League draw here.

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