West Ham drawn with Belarus or Slovenian minnows

Date published: Friday 15th July 2016 1:09

Slaven Bilic: Learns Europa League opponents

West Ham’s first match at the Olympic Stadium will be against either Shakhtyor Soligorsk of Belarus or Slovenian side Domzale.

The Hammers on Friday found out their opponents in the Europa League third qualifying round when the draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland.

Slaven Bilic’s side are taking on Italian giants Juventus in a glamour friendly to mark the opening of their new 60,000-seater ground in Stratford on Sunday, August 7.

But the Hammers’ first fixture at the Olympic Stadium will instead be against the side who come out of their second-round qualifier, which is currently poised at 1-1 after the first leg.

The third qualifying round ties will be played on Thursday, July 28 and Thursday, August 4.

West Ham were forced into playing a qualifier after being pipped for sixth place in the Premier League by Southampton on the final day of last season.

They featured in the qualifying stages last season by virtue of the Fair Play League, but Bilic fielded youngsters and fringe players as they bowed out to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu in the third round.

Bilic has vowed to take this season’s competition more seriously, however, and has already bolstered his squad with Havard Nordtveit, Sofiane Feghouli, Gokhan Tore and Ashley Fletcher.

Hibs and Hearts learn opponents

Hibernian will take on German side Hertha Berlin if the Edinburgh outfit can overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Danish outfit Brondby.

City rivals Hearts, whose first leg in Malta ended 0-0 against Birkirkara, will be aiming to set up a tie against Russian side Krasnodar.

Aberdeen, who are 3-0 up against Latvian side Ventspils, will face Maribor of Slovenia or Bulgarian side Levski Sofia, providing the Dons avoid trouble in their second leg.


Northern Irish side Cliftonville will take on Spartak Moscow if they can come back from a 3-2 first-leg defeat against Cypriots AEK Larnaca.

Cork City, who are tied at 1-1 with Swedish side Hacken, have been drawn against either Belgium’s Genk or Podgorica of Montenegro.

If Welsh minnows Connah’s Quay come from 1-0 down against Vojvodina they could face Ireland’s St Patrick’s Athletic, who drew 1-1 with Dinamo Minsk in their first leg.

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