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Tough draws for St Pats, Drogheda and Derry City in the Europa League


St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley

St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley

St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley

St Patrick's Athletic will face Lithuania's VMFD Zalgiris and Drogheda United will take on Malmo of Sweden in the opening round of qualifying for the Europa League, Derry City have been drawn with Trabzonspor in the second round.

St Patrick's Athletic will face Lithuania's VMFD Zalgiris of Lithuania in the first qualifiying round for the Europa League.

The Vilnius-based club finished second in their domestic league last year and won their cup so they are expected to provide tough opposition.

They currently top their domestic league having won 13 of their opening 16 league games.

Should they emerge victorious the Saints will play the winners of FK Teteks(Macedonia) and FC Pyunik(Armenia) in the second round.

Drogheda United have been handed a difficult draw after being pulled out alongside Malmo of Sweden.

The Drogs will be at home in the first leg on July 4 while St Pats will travel for the first leg and play host to the Lithuanian side on July 11.

Cork City famously beat Malmo 4-1 on aggregate in the 2004 Intertoto Cup.

If Drogheda can come through the first round they will face a meeting with Pat Fenlon's Hibernian in the second round.

Derry City face the daunting task of trying to oust Turkish side Trabzonspor in the second round.

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Former Spurs midfielder Didier Zokora is one of a number of experienced international in their ranks.

St Johnstone will play either Northern Irish side Crusaders or Norwegian outfit Rosenborg in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

In terms of Welsh sides, Airbus UK meet FK Ventspils of Latvia in round one, with the winners then playing Luxembourg's Jeunesse Esch or Finland's TPS Turku in round two.

Prestatyn face another Latvian outfit in SK Liepajas Metalurgs for the right to take on Croats HNK Rijeka, and Bala are up against Estonia's Levadia Tallinn and then, if they beat them, Pandurii Targu Jiu of Romania.

There are two more teams from Northern Ireland in action - Glentoran meet Icelanders KR Reykjavik, with Belgium's Standard Liege awaiting the victors, and Linfield have been paired with IF Fuglafjordur from the Faroe Islands, the winners then facing Xanthi of Greece in round two.