18 July 2022

Rangers to face Union Saint-Gilloise in first Champions League qualifier

18 July 2022

Rangers will take on Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise in their opening Champions League qualifier.

The Europa League runners-up are due to be away from home in the first leg of the third qualifying round on August 2-3.

The winners will progress to the play-off stage of the competition.

Union finished runners-up in the Belgian league last season behind Club Brugge, but they topped the table after the regular season of 34 matches before points were halved ahead of six-match play-offs.

They had only returned to the top flight in 2021 following a 48-year absence.

Union won the most recent of their 11 Belgian titles in 1935 and play in a 9,400-capacity stadium, the Stade Joseph Marien, in Brussels.

They rounded off their pre-season programme with a 4-0 victory at Feyenoord on Saturday and kick off their domestic season this weekend.

In the champions path, Linfield will take on Zalgiris of Lithuania or Malmo if they get past Bodo/Glimt in the second round. Shamrock Rovers will face Dinamo Zagreb or Shkupi of North Macedonia if they can get past Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.

In Monday’s Europa Conference League third qualifying round draw, Dundee United were handed a tie against either Dutch side AZ Alkmaar or Bosnia and Herzegovina outfit Tuzla City.

The Terrors are making a return to the European stage for the first time in 10 years, with the first leg set for Tannadice on August 4 ahead of an away trip on August 11.

Elsewhere, if Motherwell come through their second round qualifying tie with Sligo Rovers, they will face Czech side Sparta Prague or Viking of Norway.

Welsh club New Saints will play either Lech Poznan or Dinamo Batumi of Georgia should they progress against Vikingur Reykjavik.

Should Saint Patrick’s Athletic get past Slovenians Mura, then it will be a third qualifying round tie against Bulgarians CSKA Sofia or Makedonija.

Newtown are aiming to beat Slovak side Spartak Trnava in the second qualifying round, with the winners of that tie set to play either Kazakhstan team Astana or Rakow Czestochowa of Poland.

Northern Ireland’s Crusaders are taking on Swiss side Basel in the second qualifying round, with either Danish outfit Brondby or Pogon Szczecin of Poland up next.

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