Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 8th 2015 Contents A57
Saturday, August 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
NYON---Manchester United s route
back to the Champions League
groups after a one-year absence must
go through Bruges in the playoff
"It will be an interesting tie," United
coach Louis van Gaal said after yes-
terday's draw. "Bruges are a good side,
they reached the quarterfinals of the
Europa League and finished second in
the Belgian League last season."
In other playoff pairings, two-time
finalist Valencia was paired with
Monaco, which reached the quarter-
finals last season.
Lazio will face 2002 runner-up
Bayer Leverkusen, and Sporting Lisbon
was paired with CSKA Moscow---a
repeat of the 2005 UEFA Cup final
won by the Russian side in Lisbon.
Rapid Vienna, the lowest-ranked
team among the non-champions in
the draw, is at home first against
In a separate draw for national
champions, it was: Celtic vs Malmo,
Basel vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and Cham-
pions League debutant Astana vs
Skenderbeu aims to be the first
Albanian club in the groups, and is at
home first against Dinamo Zagreb.
BATE Borisov hosts Partizan.
First-leg matches are played on
August 18-19, and return matches on
Ten winners advance to the 32-team
group-stage draw on August 27 in
United returns to Europe's top club
competition after a one-season gap,
which was its first since 1995-96.
A fourth-place Premier League fin-
ish in Van Gaal's first season in Eng-
land sent the club into the Champions
League qualifying stages for the first
time since 2005.
Bruges earned a playoff by beating
Panathinaikos 4-2 on aggregate in the
third qualifying round.
Coached by former Belgium goal-
keeper Michel Preud'homme, Bruges
has current and historic form in UEFA
competitions. It was a beaten finalist
against Liverpool in the 1978 European
Cup when only national champions
Shakhtar got a favorable draw as it
begins a second season of playing all
of its matches away from home at
Lviv. Donetsk in eastern Ukraine is
unsafe during conflict between gov-
ernment forces and pro-Russian sep-
"We are playing in this stadium for
one year, and for our players and our
fans it is not normal," Shakhtar CEO
Sergei Palkin told the Associated Press.
"For the morale and psychology of the
team it is very hard."
A UEFA ruling prevented Shakhtar
from being paired with CSKA Moscow,
and the Russian club will travel first
to Portugal to face Sporting.
The reward for advancing is a 12
million euros ($13.1 million) prize
money bonus from UEFA for being in
the group stage, plus 2 million euros
for winning the playoff.
UEFA has increased Champions
League prize money by 33 percent this
season, and will share more than 1.2
billion euros among the 32 group-
Playoff losers this month are com-
pensated with 3 million euros and a
place in the Europa League groups,
which guarantees a 2.4 million euros
Man United to face
Bruges in Champions
NYON, Switzerland---Borussia Dort-
mund was drawn against Odds of
Norway in the Europa League playoff
Ajax, which was eliminated in
Champions League qualifying this
week, must beat Czech club Jablonec
to advance to the Europa League group
Southampton was paired with
Midtjylland, and Athletic Bilbao will
travel first to face Zilina of Slovakia.
UEFA paired 22 playoffs, including
Atromitos of Greece against Fener-
First-leg matches are on August 20,
and return matches on August 27.
Winners advance to the 48-team
group-stage draw on August 28 in
The groups will include 10 teams
which transfer to the second-tier com-
petition after losing in the Champions
League playoff round. (AP)
Dortmund drawn against Odds
in Europa League playoff
United manager Louis van Gaal
says he will not play goalkeeper
David De Gea in the opening
English Premier League game
against Tottenham today.
De Gea has been strongly
linked with a move to Real
Van Gaal says yesterday "it is
not easy for De Gea to manage
his situation now," and "he shall
De Gea's absence means Sergio
Romero, a preseason signing on
a free transfer, could make his
United may also be without
defender Marcos Rojo and mid-
fielder Bastain Schweinsteiger,
another preseason signing from
Van Gaal says, "Rojo came
(back) one week ago, Schwein-
steiger came at the last moment,
I don't think that he is fit
Meanwhile, midfielder Ashley
Young has signed a three-year
City says it has extended the
contract of manager Manuel Pel-
legrini to 2017.
Pellegrini's last deal was to
expire in 2016.
City says yesterday that similar
extensions have been given to his
The 61-year-old Pellegrini, who
won the English Premier League
in his first season with City in
2014, came under pressure last
season when they finished run-
ner-up to Chelsea, and Bayern
Munich manager Pep Guardiola
was repeatedly linked to his job.
City chief executive Fernando
Soriano says Pellegrini "has
already contributed so much ...
in his first two years."
Louis van Gaal
De Gea pulled by Man U against
Spurs after transfer rumour
Man City manager Pellegrini
given extra year to 2017
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