Sunday, October 22, 2017

Europa League: Favourable qualifying draws for Milan and Everton

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 14 Jul 2017

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Serie A giants AC Milan will travel to Romanian side Universitatea Craiova in the first leg of the third round of qualifying for the Europa League.

Milan have embarked upon an ambitious close-season of spending under the ownership of Yonghong Li’s Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux group and are on the brink of a significant transfer coup by signing Italy centre-back Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus.

Vincenzo Montella’s side will have ambitions to go deep into Europe’s secondary club competition as they look to re-establish themselves as a major force and their first hurdle comes against a Craiova team who came fifth in Romania’s Liga I last term.

Everton, buoyed by the return of Wayne Rooney, are to face Ruzomberok of Slovakia or Norwegian side SK Brann.

PSV, Eredivisie champions in 2015-16, are pitted against Osijek or Luzern, while Zenit – now under the tutelage of former Inter and Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini – will take on Trencin or Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv.

Marseille, like Milan former European champions eager to recapture their glory days, must get past Oostende of Belgium, while the latter’s counterparts Gent must try to match their run to the round of 16 last season by conquering Altach of Austria or Belarus’ Dinamo Brest.

Fenerbahce travel to Sturm Graz or Mladost Podgorica, while their rivals Galatasaray need to negotiate Swedish club Ostersunds before considering a tie with either Inter Baku or Fola Esch of Luxembourg.

LaLiga side Athletic Bilbao, continuing life under Jose Angel Ziganda after head coach Ernesto Valverde left to take charge of Barcelona, take on Dinamo Bucharest.

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