Manchester have drawn Club Brugge of Belgium in this morning’s Champions League play-off draw at UEFA Headquarters at Nyon in Switzerland.
It’s a favourable draw for Louis Van Gaal’s troops as they have avoided tough journey’s to last season’s quarter finalists Monaco as well a long trip to Russia where they could have faced CSKA Moscow.
The meeting of sides will be the first ever competitive fixture between the teams. Brugge finished 2nd in last season Belgian Pro League and have not been involved in the Champions League group stage since the 2005/06 season.
The first leg will take place at Old Trafford in just over 10 days times while the return tie will be in Belgium a week later.
1978 European Cup finalist’s Bruggue will be looking to the experienced Timmy Simons for leadership in the heart of midfield in what will be a tough tie for the Belgians. The 38-year-old Simons is the second most capped player in history of the Belgian national side and will be key to his sides chances.
Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign this Saturday against Tottenham with the first leg of the Champions League play-off to take place on Tuesday August 18th or Wednesday 19th and the second leg will be staged on August 25th or 26th.
Elsewhere, Celtic received a tough draw as they must negotiate the challenge of Malmo. The Swedish side reached last year’s group stages where the exited early after a tough group which included Atletico Madrid and Juventus.
Malmo defeated Red Bull Salzburg in their third round qualifier this week. The first tie will take place in Glasgow with the return fixture in Malmo a week later.
Champions League Play-Off Round Draw;
Astana(KAZ) v APOEL(CYP)
Skënderbeu(ALB) v Dinamo Zagreb(CRO)
Celtic(SCO) v Malmö(SWE)
Basel(SUI) v M. Tel Aviv (ISR)
BATE(BLR) v Partizan(SRB)
Lazio(ITA) v Leverkusen(GER)
Man. United(ENG) v Club Brugge(BEL)
Sporting CP(POR) v CSKA Moskva(RUS)
Rapid Wien(AUT) v Shakhtar Donetsk(UKR)
Valencia(ESP) v Monaco(FRA)