Dundalk to face ex-Arsenal striker Bendtner in Champions League qualifier

Dundalk have been drawn against Norwegian giants Rosenborg in the Champions League second qualifying round, writes Stephen Barry.

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner will be among the ranks of the visitors to the Irish champions on July 11 or 12. The return leg will be played on July 18 or 19.

The Trondheim-based club are a point clear at the top of the Eliteserien after 13 games this season, while Dundalk’s four-in-a-row bid is on the rocks as they trail Cork City by 18 points after 18 games.

Meanwhile, Celtic are likely to face a trip to the North to open their European campaign.

The unbeaten Scottish champions will expect to face Linfield, if the NIFL Premiership table-toppers overcome San Marino minnows La Fiorita in the first qualifying round.

With Celtic drawn away for the first leg, the possibility of them playing in Belfast on July 12, a key date in the marching calendar, is potentially problematic for security services given past sectarian tensions.

Brendan Rogers’ side will need to repeat last year’s feat of winning three rounds of qualifiers to earn a group-stage berth.

First qualifying round draw (27/28 June & 4/5 July)

Víkingur (FRO) v Trepça '89 (KOS)

Hibernians (MLT) v FCI Tallinn (EST)

Alashkert (ARM) v FC Santa Coloma (AND)

The New Saints (WAL) v Europa (GIB)

Linfield (NIR) v La Fiorita (SMR)

Second qualifying round draw (11/12 & 18/29 July)

APOEL (CYP) v Dudelange (LUX)

Žalgiris (LTU) v Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL)

Qarabağ (AZE) v Samtredia (GEO)

Partizan (SRB) v Budućnost Podgorica (MNE)

Hibernians (MLT)/FCI Tallinn (EST) v Salzburg (AUT)

Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA) v Kukës (ALB)

Astana (KAZ) v Spartaks Jūrmala (LVA)

BATE Borisov (BLR) v Alashkert (ARM)/FC Santa Coloma (AND)

Žilina (SVK) v København (DEN)

Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Honvéd (HUN)

Rijeka (CRO) v The New Saints (WAL)/Europa (GIB)

Malmö (SWE) v Vardar (MKD)

Zrinjski (BIH) v Maribor (SVN)

Dundalk (IRL) v Rosenborg (NOR)

FH Hafnarfjördur (ISL) v Víkingur (FRO)/Trepça '89 (KOS)

Linfield (NIR)/La Fiorita (SMR) v Celtic (SCO)

IFK Mariehamn (FIN) v Legia Warszawa (POL)

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