Belfast Telegraph

Champions League draw: Linfield to face Norwegian champions as Celtic take on Sarajevo in first qualifying round


Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield will face Rosenborg in the Champions League first qualifying round.
Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield will face Rosenborg in the Champions League first qualifying round.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Linfield will take on Norwegian champions Rosenborg and former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner in the first qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Norwegians, who have won four consecutive league titles, played in the group stages of last season's Europa League. Their impressive results included a group stage draw at home to German side Red Bull Leipzig while they have also held Celtic to two 0-0 draws in the Champions League qualifiers over the past two seasons.

The most notable player in the Rosenborg squad is ex-Arsenal and Juventus forward Nicklas Bendtner, although he is unlikely to play against the Blues.

Rosenborg are currently in the midst of the Norwegian league season, which runs from March until November.

Linfield and Rosenborg last met in 2010, when the Blues held their opponents to a 0-0 draw at Windsor Park before losing out 2-0 away from home.

Meanwhile, Celtic will face Bosnia and Herzegovinia's FK Sarajevo, as Irish champions take on Latvian side Riga FC.

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Linfield, Celtic and Dundalk will all be at home in the first leg on either the 9th or 10th July with the return legs to be played on July 16/17.

The defeated teams will enter the Europa League second qualifying round, with the exception of the losers of Celtic's tie, who go directly into the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Meanwhile, former Glentoran forward Jonathan Smith has left Linfield are only one season at Windsor Park.

Europa League first qualifying round draw in full

Nomme Kalju FC v KF Shkendija

FK Suduva v FK Crvena Zvezda (Red Star)

Ararat-Armenia v AIK

FC Astana v CFR 1907 Cluj

Ludogorets 1945 v Ferencvaros

FK Partizani v Qarabag FK

SK Slovan Bratislava v FK Sudjeska

Celtic FC v FK Sarajevo

FC Sheriff Tiraspol v Saburtalo

F91 Dudelange v Valletta

Linfield FC v Rosenborg BK

Valur Reykjavik v NK Maribor

Dundalk v Riga FC

The New Saints FC v Winners of the preliminary round

HJK Helsinki v HB Torshavn

BATE Borisov v Piast Gliwice

The draw is scheduled to take place at 1.30pm and we'll keep you fully up to date right here:

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