Dundalk and Linfield learn Champions League fate

Tue, Jun 18 2019

2018 Premier Division champions Dundalk will begin their 2019 European odyssey with a tie against Riga FC in the first qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Lilywhites were drawn against the Latvian outfit who are making their Champions League bow following their domestic league title win.  

Vinny Perth’s side were the seeded side in their draw and will renew their love affair with European competition against the Latvian side wh were only just formed in 2014.

Northern Irish side Linfield, who were also paired in the same pot as their neighbours in the south, have been drawn against Rosenberg as the unseeded side in their respective draw.

The Blues will host Rosenberg BK, former opponents of Dundalk, at Windsor Park before making the trip to Trondheim in the second leg.

David Healy’s side missed out on Europe altogether last term and will be hoping to stun their more fancied seeded counterparts.

Scottish champions Celtic have also been drawn against Bosnian side FK Sarajevo in their respective outing. The tie will be manager Neil Lennon’s first Champions League game since he departed the club initially in 2014.

The Armagh native’s last appearance in the Champions League as manager of the Bhoys resulted in a heavy 6-1 defeat to European heavyweights Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

UEFA Champions League first qualifying round ties are scheduled to take place on 9/10 and 16/17 July, with second round ties in the following two weeks.

The draw for the second qualifying round will take place tomorrow, Wednesday the 19th, at 11am Irish time.