Burnley drawn to face Aberdeen in Europa League qualifying

Burnley have been handed a Battle of Britain tie against Aberdeen on their return to the European stage after a 51-year absence.

The Clarets, who finished seventh in last season’s Premier League, were paired with the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership runners-up in Wednesday’s draw for the Europa League second qualifying round in Nyon.

Sean Dyche’s men will travel to Pittodrie on Thursday, July 26, with the Dons, who famously won the European Cup Winners’ Cup under Alex Ferguson in 1983, heading south of the border a week later.

Dyche told the club’s official website, www.burnleyfootballclub.com: “Everyone knows it could have been anything, looking at the draw with the amount of different teams from different countries involved, and lo and behold we get someone just up the road.

“But we’ve worked hard to get here and we’ll look forward to the challenge it brings.

“We know we won’t be travelling far, so it won’t be too unfamiliar, and it brings focus to the end part of the pre-season now that we know who we’ve got and we can prepare for what should be a competitive cup tie alongside our planning for the Premier League.”

It will be Burnley’s first taste of European action since they went out of the Fairs Cup to Eintracht Frankfurt at the quarter-final stage in April 1967.

Aberdeen, who are managed by Derek McInnes, have reached the third qualifying round of the Europa League for the last four seasons.

League rivals Rangers, who finished third behind the Dons and 12 points adrift of champions Celtic, will go head-to-head with either Moldovan side Petrocub or Osijek of Croatia should they get past Macedonian minnows FK Shkupi in the first qualifying round next month.

Champions League winner Steven Gerrard will launch his reign in earnest when Shkupi head for Ibrox on July 12 and then take his side to Skopje for the return on July 19.

Hibernian were paired with NSI Runavik of the Faroe Islands in the first qualifying round, and will meet Greek outfit Asteras Tripolis if they progress.

League of Ireland side Derry City could be pitched into battle with Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi if they see off Dinamo Minsk of Belarus, while Dundalk’s reward for victory over Estonians Levadia Tallinn would be a trip to Cyprus to face AEK Larnaca.

Shamrock Rovers would not have to travel quite so far if they dispose of Swedes AIK with Northern Irish counterparts Cliftonville taking on Nordsjaelland of Denmark for the right to meet the winners.

Coleraine would book a showdown with Sparta Prague with a win over Serbian side Spartak Subotica, while either Glenavon or Molde will land Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus or Albanian club Laci.

Welsh clubs too learned their fate with Cefn Druids potentially in line to meet Partizan Belgrade if they can reach the second qualifying round.

Ties involving British and Irish clubs: Glenavon/Molde v Anorthosis Famagusta/Laci; Aberdeen v Burnley; Rudar Pljevlja/Partizan v Cefn Druids/Trakai/Irtysh; Cliftonville/Nordsjaelland v Shamrock Rovers/AIK; Rudar Velenje/Tre Fiori/Bala Town v FCSB; Levadia Tallinn/Dundalk v AEK Larnaca; Spartak Subotica/Coleraine v Sparta Prague; Petrocub/Osijek v Rangers/Shkupi; Dunajska Streda/Dinamo Tbilisi v Derry City/Dinamo Minsk; Connah’s Quay/Shakhtyor Soligorsk v Lech Poznan/Gandzasar-Kapan; Hibernian/NSI Runavik v Asteras Tripolis.

- Press Association

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