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Potential Embarrassment Looms For FAI As Dundalk Could Face Celtic In Champions League

Potential Embarrassment Looms For FAI As Dundalk Could Face Celtic In Champions League
By David Kent Updated

Dundalk had their first foray into European action this summer during the week. Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Norwegian champions Rosenborg was seen as a somewhat positive result. Many felt that the Lilywhites should've won the game, but the tie is still alive.

The third round draws for the Champions League and Europa League are being made today.

As if Stephen Kenny's side needed any more incentive for the second leg, the winners of the tie will play against the winners of Linfield and Celtic in the third round.

Celtic, of course, came up against Shamrock Rovers' reserves last weekend and dealt out a battering to the Hoops. Coming up against the full strength League of Ireland champions would be a completely different situation.

If Dundalk and Celtic do progress to the next round, the demand for Dundalk's home leg would far exceed the capacity of Tallaght Stadium, where they played games in last season's Europa League run.

The Aviva - which Dundalk used in the playoff round last season against Legia Warsaw - could be unavailable due to a fixture clash. The stadium is hosting a friendly game between Man Utd and Sampdoria on August 2nd. The second legs of the third qualifying round are scheduled for August 1st and 2nd.

If the tie between Dundalk and Celtic does happen, the Aviva being unavailable would be a real source of embarrassment for the FAI.

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League of Ireland sides have faced Celtic eight times before - a joint record with Rangers. St Pat's and Dundalk themselves have both drawn 0-0 against the Scottish giants. No Irish side has ever managed anything better than that.

Of course, Dundalk still need to get by Rosenborg - and Celtic need to beat Linfield in order for the titanic clash to happen.

All eyes will be on Trondheim next Wednesday night. The second leg is being televised on RTE from 7.45. The Lilywhites will need at least one goal to progress.

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Cork City will play either Rabotnicki or Dinamo Minsk should they overturn a 1-0 deficit against AEK Larnaca. Shamrock Rovers lost 3-2 to Mlada Boleslav in the first leg of their tie - they'll come up against Kairat Almaty or Skenderbeu if they progress.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Jonny Hayes' First Goal As Full-Strength Celtic Batter Shamrock Rovers Bs In Tallaght

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