Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dundalk set their sights on dream Manchester United draw

Soccer​

Published 26/08/2016 | 02:30

Rogers said Dundalk would be 'delighted' to be drawn against Jose Mourinho's side. Photo: INPHO
Rogers said Dundalk would be 'delighted' to be drawn against Jose Mourinho's side. Photo: INPHO

Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers is hoping that the League of Ireland champions are pitted against Manchester United when the draw for the group stages of the Europa League takes place in Nyon this afternoon (12.0).

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The Lilywhites squad will watch the draw in Wexford together ahead of tonight's league clash with the Youths as they dream of some of the potential mouthwatering clashes.

Dundalk saw their midweek conquerors Legia Warsaw drawn alongside Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League, but they are eyeing their own glamour ties, with United, Inter Milan, Ajax and Schalke all possible opponents.

Dundalk will be drawn from Pot Four and are almost certain to play at least one of Europe's top clubs, with Roma, Villarreal and Southampton also potentially lying in wait.

Drawing either Zenit St Petersburg or Shakhtar Donetsk would be a logistical nightmare for supporters, with trips to Russia and the Ukraine unlikely to be high on their list of preferred destinations.

Read More: Dundalk must bring 'big-game mentality' every week - Benson

With Oriel Park not meeting UEFA requirements, Dundalk's home games are set to be played at Tallaght Stadium; however, should they be put in a group alongside United, they may well explore the option of using the Aviva Stadium.

Rogers said Dundalk would be 'delighted' to be drawn against Jose Mourinho's side.

"You want to test yourself against the best teams possible," he said.

"No matter who you get in Pot One it's going to be a massive challenge, and we'll embrace that challenge. It's something to look forward to.

"People in Ireland are massive Man United supporters and there's no better way to compare ourselves to them than by playing them in a big European fixture.

"I think most of the lads would want to get Man United, but whoever we get will be a top side in Europe.

"It would be a great challenge to be faced with and it's something you would aspire to.

"If that is the opposition we face, we would be delighted."

Irish Independent

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