30 June 2008

Champions' League Draw tomorrow

The draw for the First and Second Qualifying Rounds of the Champions' League takes place tomorrow. Rangers will be in the hat for the Second Qualifying Round, and are the top seed at that stage. They will, therefore, face an Unseeded team.

The only two unseeded teams to enter at the Second Qualifying Round stage are Israel's Beitar Jerusalem and Hungary's MTK Budapest. The other teams in the hat will all come from the First Qualifying Round. As UEFA assumes that the seeded teams will win their ties, as far as the authorities are concerned, Rangers could be drawn against Domzale (Slovenia), IFK Gothenburg (Sweden), Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus), Finland's Tampere United, Georgia's Dinamo Tbilisi, Ventspils (Latvia), Rabotnicki Skopje (FYR Macedonia), Modrica (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Lithuanian Champions and Vladimir Romanov's other toy Kaunas (oh please, oh please!), Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol, Drogheda United from the Republic of Ireland, and Iceland's Valur Reykjavik. Of course, there could always be an upset on the cards and the Gers could end up travelling to San Marino, Malta, or somewhere equally improbable.

The draw for the UEFA Cup First Qualifying Round also takes place but all that will do is give Queen of the South (and, we hope, Hibs) an idea of who they'll face in the Second Qualifying Round.

Meanwhile, Hibs will play Elfsborg of Sweden, who beat HB Torshavn 4-1 on aggregate, in the Second Round of the Intertoto Cup. If they win that, they'll go on to play FK Riga (who beat Fylkir Reykjavik 3-2) or Bohemians, who gubbed Rhyl 9-3 over two legs. It strikes me that out of those opponents, Elfsborg are probably the toughest, so if Hibs can get past them, they'll be in the UEFA Cup Seqcond Qualifying Round Draw n August.

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