x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Celtic off to Moscow for Euro qualifier

Celtic face a daunting trip to Russia to begin their campaign in the third round of Champions League qualifying.

Celtic face a daunting trip to Russia to begin their Champions League campaign after they were drawn against Dinamo Moscow in the third round of qualifying. The new boss Tony Mowbray will take charge of his first competitive match with the Hoops against the Russian side, who currently sit seventh in the Russian Premier League. The two-legged tie will be played between July 28 and Aug 5, with the winners progressing to a play-off to enter the group stage. Celtic will attempt to qualify for the group stage for the first time in four years after Rangers secured last year's Scottish Premier League title on the final day. Elsewhere in the draw, which was held in Nyon, Steve McClaren's FC Twente were paired with Sporting Lisbon. Twente finished second in the Eredivisie last season and face a Sporting team that reached the last 16 of the Champions League last term, where they were hammered 12-1 on aggregate by Bayern Munich. The Greek champions Olympiakos will tackle either Zrinjski or Slovan Bratislava. The Piraeus club failed to reach the group stage of last season's competition, suffering a surprising loss to Anorthosis Famagusta. However, they made it all the way to the last 16 of the 2007/08 edition before losing to Chelsea. Zrinjski, who are the Bosnian league winners, hold a 1-0 advantage over Slovan after the opening leg of their second qualifying round clash. The Czech title-holders Slavia Prague will take on either Finnish side Inter Turku or Sheriff Tiraspol of Moldova. The Uefa Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk will enter Europe's elite club competition against Romanians Timisoara, with the Ukrainian side staging the opening leg. Shakhtar beat Werder Bremen in last year's UEFA Cup final, the last time the event was played under that name before becoming the Europa League. Panathinaikos take on regular Champions League participants Sparta Prague, while the former Uefa Cup champions Anderlecht will host Sivasspor in the opening leg of their tie.

Meanwhile the English Premier League side Fulham have been drawn against either FK Vetra (Lithuania) or HJK Helsinki (Finland) in the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Aberdeen will take on Sigma Olomouc (Czech Republic) or Fram (Iceland). Matches will be played on July 30 and August 6. * PA Sport