Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Champions League: Irish League winners Cliftonville to face Hungarian side Debreceni in qualifier

Cliftonville's Joe Gormley celebrates with Martin Donnelly and Barry Johnston after winning the Irish League in April
Cliftonville's Joe Gormley celebrates with Martin Donnelly and Barry Johnston after winning the Irish League in April

Irish League winners Cliftonville have been drawn against Hungarian side Debreceni in qualifier in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

The side will face Debreceni - who won their seventh league title in 2013.

Meanwhile, Celtic will play Icelandic champions  KR Reykjavik in their opening Champions League qualifier.

With Celtic Park out of commission because of the Commonwealth Games, Ronny Deila is set for a Murrayfield debut as manager with Celtic picked out first in the draw for the second qualifying round, although the final details are yet to be confirmed.

The first leg will take place on July 15-16, with the second leg the following week.

Celtic are set to come up against a former player in striker Kjartan Finnbogason, who joined the Glasgow club from KR in 2004 aged 17 but failed to make a first-team breakthrough under Martin O'Neill and then Gordon Strachan.

The forward moved to Norway in 2007 and scored one goal in eight appearances during a loan spell at Falkirk in 2009 before eventually returning to KR, where he is their top European goalscorer with eight strikes.

KR's top goalscorer in their title-winning campaign, Gary Martin, was also released by Strachan, at Middlesbrough.

KR currently sit fourth in the league, four points off the top, after taking 16 points from nine games.

Welsh side The New Saints are due to open their campaign in Slovakia against Slovan Bratislava and Airtricity League of Ireland champions St Patrick's Athletic will take on Legia Warsaw with the first leg set to be in Poland.

Among the six teams playing in the first qualifying round are Lincoln Red Imps of UEFA newcomers Gibraltar. They face HB Torshavn of the Faroe Islands with the winners then taking on Partizan Belgrade.

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