Liverpool Reuters

Liverpool will face either Macedonian club FK Renova or Belarusian outfit FC Gomel in the third qualifying phase of the 2012/13 Europa League. The Reds, who last competed in the Europa League in the 2010-2011 season, will play the first leg at Anfield on 2 August and the second leg, away, seven days later.

The Reds were fortunate to secure a place in continental competition despite finishing a low eighth in the league last season; the fact they won the Carling Cup last year allows them to play in Europe this year. Unfortunately, Brendan Rodgers' side will enter the competition's qualifying stages earlier than otherwise scheduled. Chelsea's winning the Champions League last season means the Blues, despite finishing an unimpressive sixth in the league, will play with Europe's elite as the defending champions and Tottenham, who qualified in what is technically the final Champions League spot must be content with Europa League action. The knock-on effect will lead to Liverpool having to play two extra games to qualify for the tournament proper.

The first leg between Gomel and Renova has already been played, with the Belarussians winning 2-0 away from home, meaning they will almost certainly be the opposition the Reds will face.

Meanwhile, in the other Europa League third round qualifying fixtures, Scottish side Dundee United will face Dynamo Moscow of Russia and French club Marseille will face either Turkey's Eskisehirspor or Scotland's St Johnstone.

Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, last year's beaten finalists, will face either Croatian side Slaven Koprivnic or Northern Irish club Portadown and Irish side Sligo Rovers will play either Romania's FC Steaua Bucharest or Spartak Trnava of Slovakia.

In third round qualifying action for the Champions League, scheduled for 31 July / 1 August and 7/8 August, Scottish side Celtic are up against either Finnish champions HJK Helsinki or Icelandic club KR Reykjavik. Helsinki are favourites to play Celtic as they have already registered a crushing 7-0 victory over Reykjavik in the first leg. Scottish outfits Motherwell will face Greek champions Panathinaikos.

Belgian side RSC Anderlecht will face either Irish club Shamrock Rovers or FK Ekranas of Lithuania and Welsh champions The New Saints will play either Buducnost Podgorica of Montenegro or Polish side Slask Wroclaw, if they manage to overcome Swedish side Helsingsborgs IF. Finally, AEL Limassol will playing either Valletta FC or FK Partizan, if they manage to beat Linfield.

The sides that are eliminated from the third qualifying round of the Champions League will enter Europa League play-offs, while the winners will compete for a place in the group stages of the Champions League.