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Man United paired with Club Brugge in Champions League qualifiers

Louis van Gaal’s men have discovered their European fate this morning.

Louis van Gaal and co are set for a trip to Belgium.
Louis van Gaal and co are set for a trip to Belgium.
Image: Richard Sellers

Updated at 12.00

MANCHESTER UNITED WERE given a kind draw in the Champions League play-offs as they were paired with Belgians Club Brugge on Friday.

The three-time former winners, making their return to Europe’s premier club competition after a one-year hiatus, will play the first leg at their Old Trafford home.

In other pairings, Spaniards Valencia, finalists in 2000 and 2001, drew 2004 finalists Monaco of France while the clash of the round sees Italians Lazio up against Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen, beaten finalists in 2002.

United failed to qualify for European competition last season having finished seventh in the English Premier League in 2014 under former coach David Moyes.

But Louis Van Gaal led them to fourth in the table last season, giving them the chance to earn a place back in the Champions League, a competition they last won in 2008 during a run of three finals in four seasons (the last being a defeat to Barcelona in 2011).

Club Brugge are the only ever Belgian side to reach the European Cup or Champions League final, losing 1-0 to United’s bitter domestic rivals Liverpool in 1978.

In the other League Route pairings, Sporting Lisbon will have the chance to gain revenge on CSKA Moscow, who beat them in the 2005 UEFA Cup at the Portuguese outfit’s own Lisbon home ground.

The final pairing sees Austria’s Rapid Vienna take on Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk while the pick of the Champions Route games saw 1967 winners Celtic drawn against 1979 finalists Malmo.

Draw:

Astana (KAZ) v APOEL (CYP)

Skenderbeu (ALB) v Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Celtic (SCO) v Malmo (SWE)

Basel (SUI) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)

BATE Borisov (BLR) v Partizan Belgrade (SRB)

Lazio (ITA) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER)

Manchester United (ENG) v Club Brugge (BEL)

Sporting Lisbon (POR) v CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Rapid Vienna (AUT) v Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

Valencia (ESP) v Monaco (FRA)

First legs to be played August 18/19, second legs on August 25/26

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