Following Fulham’s confident 2-0 win over Croat side Split UEFA have made the draw throwing up our next opponents.
Now just a two legged tie away from the Group stages the complicated seven potted, several bowled draw systems see’s us return to the Ukraine. Originally founded as a factory team in the old USSR era, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk finished fourth in their domestic league last season also making the semi final of the Ukrainian Cup. They’re also currently managed by Juande Ramos, the former Spuds manager and the man who replaced our current gaffer in that role.
The Dnepryani , as they’re known, play their home matches at the Dnipro Arena which was opened in 2008 and has a capacity of around 31,000. Their hometown of Dnipropetrovsk in the third largest conurbation in the country and is found south east of the capital, Kiev. It’s well known (well, well known in Ukraine anyway) for being a home of opera and having nice beaches. Although a new terminal has opened earlier this year in the city, in preparation for the European football championships next summer, travelling there could again be a lot of fun and will probably involve fans making their own way transferring flights in Austria.
Fulham last visited the Ukraine when they travelled to Donetsk in their last Europa campaign and picked up a score draw against Shakhtar before beating them at the cottage, knocking them out of the competition.
Elsewhere in the draw Spuds were drawn against Hearts, Stoke drew Swiss side Thun, Brum host Portuguese side Nacional and Rangers and Celtic will face Maribor and Sion respectively, with matches taking place on the 18th and 25th of August, and although originally drawn away in the first leg UEFA have reversed the draw meaning we really will need something out of the home match.
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