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Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 11:46 UK

Rhyl set for Partizan Euro clash

Champions League trophy
The Champions League trophy in front of the qualifying draw

Rhyl have one of the toughest Champions League draws in the second qualifying round as they will face former European Cup finalists Partizan Belgrade.

The Welsh Premier champions will play the Serbian double winners in the first leg at Belle Vue on 14 or 15 July before the return on 21 or 22 July.

Partizan Belgrade last played in the Champions League in the 2003/04 season.

The Serbian team held Marseille, Real Madrid and eventual winners Porto at home but finished bottom of their pool.

Under the new format devised by UEFA president Michel Platini, five clubs from the 'Champions Path' will reach the group stages next season, with Partizan one of those likely to be involved.

It leaves Rhyl facing an almost impossible task to knock out the Serbian champions, who include Adem Ljajic in their squad.

Ljajic is set to join former team-mate Zoran Tosic at Manchester United in January after impressing Sir Alex Ferguson.

Partizan played Real Madrid in the 1966 European Cup final at the Heysel Stadium, losing 2-1, after eliminating Manchester United in the semi-finals.

606: DEBATE

Rhyl, though, will have home advantage in the first leg.

Glentoran do not even have that consolation after being handed a similarly arduous tie against Maccabi Haifa, who famously beat Manchester United in the group stages in 2002.

While Maccabi are not quite the same class as that team, they should have too much for Allan McDonald's men, who ousted Linfield as Northern Ireland champions last term.

Irish league winners Bohemians only just missed out on a seeding for the draw.

The consequences appear pretty fatal too as they must come through a two-legged tussle with Austrian champions Salzburg, the first leg away from home on either July 14 or 15, with the deciding matches set to be played the following week.

Seventeen second qualifying round winners will be joined by Olympiakos, Slavia Prague and FC Zurich in the next stage on a path that will eventually see five sides make it through to the final 32.

Another 15 teams, including Celtic and Arsenal, are in a separate section, with five making it through from that part of the draw as well.

They will join the 22 teams already confirmed in the group stages, a figure including Liverpool, Chelsea, Rangers and Manchester United, who were beaten by Barcelona in the final last month.


UEFA Champions League draw:

First qualifying round draw:
UE Sant Julià (AND) v SP Tre Fiori (SNM)
Hibernians (MLT) v FK Mogren (MNE)

Second qualifying round draw:
KF Tirana (ALB) v Stabæk IF (NOR)
FC WIT Georgia (GEO) v NK Maribor (SVN)
EB/Streymur (FRO) v APOEL FC (CYP)
FC København (DEN) v Winner of Hibernians v FK Mogren
Debreceni VSC (HUN) v Kalmar FF (SWE)
FK Makedonija GP Skopje (MKD) v FC BATE Borisov (BLR)
FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v FK Aktobe (KAZ)
FC Pyunik (ARM) v NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)
Ventspils (LVA) v F91 Dudelange (LUX)
Ekranas (LTU) v FK Baku (AZE)
FC Salzburg (AUT) v Bohemian FC (IRL)
NK Zrinjski (BIH) v ŠK Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
FC International Turku (FIN) v FC Sheriff (MDA)
Rhyl (WAL) v Partizan Belgrade (SRB)
Wisla Kraków (POL) v Levadia Tallinn (EST)
PFC Levski Sofia (BUL) v Winner UE Sant Julià v SP Tre Fiori
Maccabi Haifa (ISR) v Glentoran (NIR)



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see also
Owen achieves Welsh Premier award
07 May 09 |  Welsh
Rhyl handed Welsh Premier title
18 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Man Utd seal deal for Serbian duo
02 Jan 09 |  Man Utd
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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