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Dundalk get home Champions League tie against Scandinavians if they beat Celje

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Dundalk FC players during a training session at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth back in June. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Dundalk FC players during a training session at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth back in June. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Dundalk FC players during a training session at Oriel Park in Dundalk, Louth back in June. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Dundalk have the bonus of home advantage against Scandinavian opposition in the second round of the Champions League, if they win their first qualifying round tie next week, as either Molde (Norway) or KuPS (Finland) await them in the next phase of qualification.

The first round draw paired Dundalk with Slovenian champions NK Celje, that one-off tie to be play in the neutral venue of Budapest on Wednesday week, but today's draw laid out the path for the second round, and Dundalk will have home advantage against either Molde or KuPS.

Getting a home draw is a boost for the Co Louth club as both Norway and Finland are on the Irish government's green list for travel, so the opposing club can travel to Ireland without restrictions: a draw against a club from a nation not on the green list would have forced Dundalk to move that to a neutral venue.

Molde have been to Ireland before, Ole Gunnar Solkskaer was the manager as they beat Sligo Rovers 3-0 on aggregate in the Champions League in 2013.

In the second round, Celtic will play either Ferencvaros (Hungary) or Djurgardens (Sweden) if the Bhoys beat KR Reykjavik in the first qualifying round next week.

Linfield also discovered who their opponents might be if they pull off a shock win over Legia Warsaw.

The Belfast side are still engaged in the preliminary round having won their first fixture on Saturday, and face Kosovan champions Drita on Tuesday. If they win that, they take on the Poles for the right to host Ararat-Armenia or Cypriot team Omonia.

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