• Manchester United to face Belgian runners-up Club Brugge for a place in the group stages of the 2015/16 Champions League
  • Celtic drawn against Swedish champions Malmo
  • Ties to be played on 18/19 and 25/26 August
  • Southampton play FC Midtjylland of Denmark in the Europa League play-off round
Champions League trophy
20 teams remain in the battle to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League Getty

Southampton have been paired with Danish champions FC Midtjylland in the play-off round of the Europa League.

Here's that draw in full:

That's it from us for now, join us again tomorrow as we bring you live coverage of the Premier League's opening weekend starting with Manchester United v Tottenham at Old Trafford.


As for Malmo, Celtic will come up against a team who won the Swedish Allsvenskan in November 2014 by a six-point margin over IFK Goteborg, but currently languish in sixth this year after eight victories, seven draws and three defeats from their opening 18 matches.

They made the Champions League group stages last term after seeing off Ventspils, Sparta Prague and Red Bull Salzburg in qualifying and finished bottom of a difficult group featuring Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Olympiacos with just three points.

Malmo saw off FC Zalgiris and Salzburg to reach the playoff round, while Club Brugge knocked out Panathinaikos.


You can discover more about United's opponents here:

Club Brugge last reached the group stages of the Champions League during the 2005/06 season, when they overcame Valerenga and subsequently finished third in a group containing Juventus and Bayern Munich as well as Rapid Vienna.

Their two victories that year both came against the Austrians, although they did hold Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw at the Jan Breydel Stadium and only lost the return match narrowly. Juventus did not manage to beat them by more than one-goal in either of their fixtures.

Brugge's last attempt to qualify for the competition ended in defeat to FC Copenhagen in 2012. Last season, they advanced to the quarter-finals of the Europa League under former Belgian international Michel Preud'homme and saw off Aalborg and Besiktas before losing to eventual finalists Dnipro.


Without wishing to disrespect Club Brugge, that is about as comfortable as the draw could have been for Manchester United.

Van Gaal's side will be at home for the first leg on 18/19 August and will travel to Belgium for the return fixture on either 25 or 26 August.

Valencia v Monaco looks to be the pick of the ties from the play-off round.


Valencia v Monaco


Rapid Vienna v Shakhtar Donetsk

It's worth noting at this juncture that Shakhtar and CSKA Moscow could not be drawn together.


Sporting Club de Portugal v CSKA Moscow


Manchester United v Club Brugge


Lazio v Bayer Leverkusen


So Celtic will face Malmo for a place in the Champions League group stage. The league route is about to be decided with the same procedure, so hang onto your hats United fans....


Bate Borisov v Partizan Belgrade


FC Basel v Maccabi Tel-Aviv


Celtic v Malmo FF


FC Skenderbeu Korce v GNK Dinamo


FC Astana v Apoel FC


Here we go then, the champions route will be drawn first...


As for Celtic, they beat Shakhter Karagandy at this stage two years ago, but fell in 2014 with a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Slovenian outfit Maribor. They subsequently reached the last 32 of the Europa League before being eliminated by Inter.

Looking at their half of the draw, there is likely to be a long away trip on the horizon to Albania, Israel, Kazakhstan or Serbia. Malmo would perhaps be more ideal in terms of location, but they are arguably the strongest unseeded team in the champions route.


Manchester United are bidding to return to the Champions League proper following a one-year absence brought on by a dismal 2013/14 season under David Moyes in which they finished seventh.

Their last game in the competition came with a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in April 2014.

Looking at their prospective opponents, Louis van Gaal will no doubt be eager to avoid tricky trips to Monaco, Lazio and Moscow.

Club Brugge and Rapid Vienna are likely to provide more straightforward ties, you would expect, although underestimating them could prove costly.


As if it wasn't clear already, the winners of these ties will progress through to the group stages.

The losing teams, meanwhile, will enter the group phase of the Europa League.


Today's draw is done in two sections, the league route and the champions route. In each part, the five highest coefficients have been seeded and will be drawn against five unseeded teams.

Here are the seedings:

League route

Seeded: Bayer Leverkusen, Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting Lisbon, Valencia

Unseeded: Club Brugge, CSKA Moscow, Lazio, Monaco, Rapid Vienna.

Champions route

Seeded: APOEL FC, Celtic, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, FC Basel

Unseeded: Skenderbeu Korce, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Astana, Partizan Belgrade and Malmo

Ties will be played on 18/19 and 25/26 August


Good morning and a very warm welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of today's Champions League play-off draw that takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

20 teams remain standing in the battle to join last season's automatic qualifiers in the group stages of the 2015/16 competition, with British interest coming in the form of the returning Manchester United and Scottish champions Celtic.

Proceedings are scheduled to commence at 11am BST, although as usual with these sorts of events we are not expecting a particularly swift process that is totally devoid of waffle.

A reminder that we will also update this blog to bring you every tie from the Europa League play-off draw, which follows afterwards.

Standby for additional details, an explanation of how everything will work and which teams could be paired together at this stage...