SWITZERLAND, Sporting Alert – The following are the Champions League playoff draws, which was revealed on Friday, 7 August.
Manchester United, looking to return to the group stages, must get past Club Brugge after the two sides were drawn together.
United, although remaining cautious about the draw, appeared happy with their “decent” opponent as they managed to avoid the likes of Lazio, Monaco, Valencia and CSKA Moscow.
Louis van Gaal’s side, which gets its English Premier League underway on Saturday, with take on the Belgian side in the playoff round, with the first leg set to take place at Old Trafford on Tuesday 18 August.
The return fixture will be played on Wednesday 26 August.
Manchester United booked a Champions League playoff spot after finishing fourth in last year’s English Premier League standings.
In the meantime, Club Brugge, which finished second in the Belgian league last term, earned the right to face the Red Devils after beating Greek side Panathinaikos 4-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round, this after overcoming a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
This will be the first time Manchester United will be facing Club Brugge.
Meanwhile, the two highlighted matches of the Champions League playoff draw are that of Lazio v Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia v Monaco.
German side Bayer Leverkusen, who went out on shootout against Atlético Madrid a season ago, will be hoping to get past their Italian opponents Lazio and return to the Champions League group stages, while Monaco, who dumped Arsenal in the second round last year before losing to Juventus in the quarterfinals, will take on Spanish side Valencia.
In other draws, Scottish champions Celtic will face Malmo FF, Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat Turkish side Fenerbahçe in the third round, will battle Rapid Vienna, while Sporting Lisbon and CSKA Moscow will face-off for a group stages spot.
Astana v Apoel Nicosia
Skenderbeu v Dinamo Zagreb
Celtic v Malmo FF
Basel v Maccabi Tel-Aviv
BATE v Partizan Belgrade
Lazio v Bayer Leverkusen
Manchester United v Club Brugge
Sporting Lisbon v CSKA Moscow
Rapid Vienna v Shakhtar Donetsk
Valencia v Monaco