Shamrock Rovers land Slovan Bratislava tie in the Champions League qualifiers

Tue, Jun 15 2021

Shamrock Rovers have been handed a Champions League first-round qualifying tie against Slovakian champions Slovan Bratislava.

The tie against the Slovaks will take place on 6/7 and 13/14 July – with Rovers due to play the second tie at home at Tallaght Stadium.

Should the Hoops lose, they will drop to the Europa Conference League third round, as a result of getting a bye from the second round if they fail to see off Slovan Bratislava.

Lose in the Champions League second qualifying round and they would drop into the Europa League third qualifying round.

A win in that third round of Europa League qualification would see the Hoops guaranteed at the very least a spot in the new Europa Conference League group phase.

If Rovers lose in this first qualifying round of the Champions League, they will be given at least one further shot of a European run as they will drop into the Europa Conference League second qualifying round in the Champions Path – the draw for that round is also being made tomorrow. 

This will be the first time Shamrock Rovers have played in the Champions League since 2012 under then manager Stephen Kenny.

They were knocked out by Lithuanian side FK Ekranas 2-1 on aggregate on that occasion as they failed to reach the heights from the year before when they reached the 2011 Europa League Group Stages.

Slovan Bratislava have recent history against Irish sides in European competition – playing Dundalk and UCD in recent seasons.

Slovan defeated the Lilywhites and the Students in 2019 and 2016 respectively. The Slovaks won 3-1 on their last visit to Tallaght Stadium to see off the then Vinny Perth managed Dundalk side.

Meanwhile, Northern Irish champions Linfield will face Lithuanian side Vilnius Zalgiris in their first-round Champions League tie.

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