• Liverpool to face FK Renova or FC Gomel
• Celtic likely to play HJK Helsinki

Liverpool will face either FK Renova of Macedonia or FC Gomel of Belarus in the Europa League third qualifying round. Gomel finished third in the Belarus Premier League last season, while Renova were fourth in the Macedonian First League. The two sides will face each other later this month, and the winner is scheduled to meet Liverpool across two ties played on 2 and 9 August.

Meanwhile the Scottish champions, Celtic, will play either HJK Helsinki or KR Reykjavik in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, while Motherwell face Greek side Panathinaikos.

Celtic were in the Champions section of the draw and will be at home in the first leg with Finnish title-holders HJK very likely to be their opponents after they won the first leg of their second qualifying round clash with KR 7-0 earlier this week.

Motherwell were unseeded in the draw and will face a stiff test against 20-time Greek champions Panathinaikos, with the first leg taking place at Fir Park.

The first legs will be played across 31 July and 1 August, with the return legs contested a week later.

The Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, has already targeted reaching the group stages of the tournament with others suggesting it is a necessity given the lack of Old Firm matches for the foreseeable future.

Motherwell’s Champions League opportunity stemmed from the demise of Rangers and the rejection of Charles Green’s newco club into the SPL.

St Johnstone could face French giants Marseille in the Europa League third qualifying round, if they can overhaul their 2-0 first-leg deficit against Turkish side Eskisehirspor in the second round of qualifying.

Welsh champions The New Saints face a trip to Eastern Europe if they overcome Helsingborgs in their second qualifying-round tie.

The first leg finished 0-0 and if TNS can win in Sweden they will play either Montenegrin champions Buducnost Podgorica or Polish title-holders Slask Wroclaw in the next stage.

Shamrock Rovers also drew 0-0 in the first leg of their second round qualifying match against Lithuania’s Ekranas.

If the 17-time Irish champions can see off Ekranas they will meet Belgian champions Anderlecht in just over a week’s time.


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