Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have been paired up against Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League Play-Off Round draw this morning. Out of all the teams they could have got they have arguably got the easiest one and they will more then fancy their chances of clearing this hurdle before the Group Stages. If you were to ask Guardiola which team he would have liked to have been paired up with him then he would have undoubtedly said Steaua. That’s no disrespect to the Romanian side but City have certainly missed some of the bigger teams that were lurking in the draw. That said City won’t be allowed to take the game lightly and will have to make sure they get the job done.
Also in the league route the two ties that stand out the most are FC Porto vs Roma and Villarreal vs Monaco – two huge ties there and that means two big clubs will be dropping down to the Europa League this season.
In the Champions route Celtic are paired up against Hapoel Be’er Sheva of Israel, that means more travelling for Brendan Rodgers side after already having to deal with a trip to Kazakhstan in the previous round, while the headline of the previous round was Dundalk’s victory over BATE Borisov. They have now been rewarded with a tie against Polish champions Legia Warsaw and it’s one they will feel that they can progress from and be the first Irish side to make the Champions League group stages.
Here is the draw in full
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Ludogorets Razgrad||Viktoria Plzeň|
|Celtic||Hapoel Be’er Sheva|
|Dinamo Zagreb||Red Bull Salzburg|
|Steaua București||Manchester City|
|Young Boys||Borussia Mönchengladbach|