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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Hearts & Rangers learn Uefa fate
The Uefa Cup trophy
Sevilla added their name to the bottom of the Uefa Cup in 2006
Hearts will face Sparta Prague while Rangers take on Norwegians Molde in the first round of the Uefa Cup.

Rangers play their first leg in Norway, while Hearts are at home as they aim to qualify for the group stages.

The Glasgow side face opponents sitting bottom of the Tippeligaen after 17 games, having finished 12th last term.

But Sparta, who finished fifth in the Czech league last season, are third this term after four games and have much Champions League experience.

Hearts had been due to visit Prague for the first leg on 14 September, but it was switched to Murrayfield because it clashed with Tottenham Hotspur's visit to Slavia Prague.

The Edinburgh side were eliminated from the Champions League qualifiers in midweek by AEK Athens to parachute into the Uefa Cup.
Maybe it was a good draw, but we will have to wait until after the second leg to find out

Hearts head coach Valdas Ivanauskas

But the consolation will offer former Sparta striker Michal Pospisil a return to his old club along with fellow Czech forward Roman Bednar.

And head coach Valdas Ivanauskas warned: "I know Sparta Prague from years ago and we all know how strong Czech football and they are.

"They have been champions many times and are very technical and physically strong.

"Every team is difficult and maybe it was a good draw, but we will have to wait until after the second leg to find out."

Hearts have had mixed fortunes against clubs from the Czech Republic.

They defeated Slavia at the same stage of the tournament 14 years ago.

But the Scots were beaten by Dukla Prague via the away-goals rule in the Uefa Cup first round in the 1986-1987 season.

And Scottish clubs do not have a good record against Czech teams, suffering 10 defeats from 15 ties in European competition.
I played against them with PSG and we must be very careful

Rangers manager Paul Le Guen

Rangers boss Paul Le Guen, whose side were seeded for the draw, will be hoping for a repeat success against Molde coach Arild Stavrum.

Le Guen was in the Paris St Germain side that defeated 5-2 on aggregate in the Uefa Cup in 1995 - despite a goal by former Aberdeen striker Stavrum.

Scottish clubs have a good record against Norwegian clubs in European competition, with seven wins from nine previous ties.

But Le Guen told Rangers' website: "I played against them with PSG and we must be very careful.

"There are no easy games in this competition."

The 34-year-old Stavrum, who left Pittodrie for Besiktas in July 2001, steered his side, who were Norwegian cup winners last season, through the qualifying round against Skonto Riga of Latvia.

Rangers have only played a team from the country once before - beating Lillestrom in the Cup Winners' Cup qualifying round in the 1979-1980 season.



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