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Wolves find out opponents for Europa League campaign

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Wolverhampton Wanderers’ first European game in over 39 years will see them play in the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round draw.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  

Wolves’ reward for finishing seventh in the Premier League last season is to play either the winner of Crusaders and B36 Torshavn. The former are from Northern Ireland and the latter are from the Faroe Islands.

Baring a huge shock, Wolves will be heading into the third qualifying round, and Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side will then have to play in the knockout round of the Europa League qualifying system as they are still six games away from making the group stage of the competition.

Wolves will use this competition as preseason and if they do end up making the group stage, it is pretty clear they will take their first European campaign since 1980 very seriously and they will be up their with the favorites to win it all.

The first round draw for both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League was made on Tuesday, and the second round for the Europa League has now set up the schedule through early August.

Below is the second qualifying round draw in full, with both the main path and the Champions path games taking place on July 25 and Aug. 1.


Second qualifying round main path – 25 July & 1 August (Seeded teams in bold)

IFK Norrkoping (SWE)/Saint Patrick’s (IRL) v Dinamo Minsk (BLR)/Liepaja (LVA)
Barry Town United (WAL)/Cliftonville (NIR)/Haugesund (NOR) v Sturm Graz (AUT)
Lechia Gdansk (POL) v Inter Turku (FIN)/Brondby (DEN)
Domzale (SVN)/Balzan (MLT) v Malmo (SWE)/Ballymena United (NIR)/NSI Runavik (FRO)
CSKA-Sofia (BUL)/OFK Titograd (MNE) v Osijek (CRO)

Laci (ALB)/Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Siroki Brijeg (BIH)/Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
AEK Larnaca (CYP)/Petrocub-Hincesti (MDA) v Levski Sofia (BUL)/MFK Ruzomberok (SVK)
Zeta (MNE)/Fehervar (HUN) v Breidablik (ISL)/Vaduz (LIE)
Molde (NOR)/KR Reykjavík (ISL) v Cukaricki (SRB)/Banants (ARM)
Roma (ITA) v Debrecen (HUN)/Kukesi (ALB)

Arsenal Tula (RUS) v Neftçi (AZE)/Speranta Nisporeni (MDA)
UE Sant Julia (AND)/Europa (GIB)/Legia Warszawa (POL) v Vitebsk (BLR)/KuPS Kuopio (FIN)
Gabala (AZE) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)/SP La Fiorita (SMR)/Engordany (AND)
Aberdeen (SCO)/RoPS Rovaniemi (FIN) v Fola Esch (LUX)/Chikhura Sachkhere (GEO)
Luzern (SUI) v Riteriai (LTU)/KI Klaksvik (FRO)/SP Tre Fiori (SMR)

Espanyol (ESP) v Stjarnan (ISL)/Levadia Tallinn (EST)
Utrecht (NED) v Akademija Pandev (MKD)/HSK Zrinjski (BIH)
Malatyaspor (TUR) v Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN)/Rigas FS (LVA)
Royal Antwerp (BEL) v Viitorul (ROU)
Prishtina (KOS)/St Joseph’s (GIB)/Rangers (SCO) v Cork City (IRL)/Progres Niederkorn (LUX)/Cardiff Met (WAL)

Cracovia Krakow (POL)/Dunajska Streda (SVK) v Atromitos (GRE)
Pyunik (ARM)/Shkupi (MKD) v FK Jablonec (CZE)
Radnicki Nis (SRB)/Flora Tallinn (EST) v Eintracht Frankfurt (GER)
Buducnost Podgorica (MNE)/Narva Trans (EST) v Zorya Luhansk (UKR)
Ventspils (LVA)/Teuta (ALB) v Gzira United (MLT)/Hajduk Split (CRO)

Strasbourg (FRA) v Maccabi Haifa (ISR)/NS Mura (SVN)
Wolverhampton (ENG) v Crusaders (NIR)/B36 Torshavn (FRO)
Mlada Boleslav (CZE)
 v Ordabasy Shymkent (KAZ)/Torpedo Kutaisi (GEO)
Aris Thessaloniki (GRE) v AEL Limassol (CYP)
Brann (NOR)/Shamrock Rovers (IRL) v Kauno Zalgiris (LTU)/Apollon Limassol (CYP)

Jeunesse Esch (LUX)/Tobol Kostanay (KAZ) v Vitória SC (POR)
AZ Alkmaar (NED)
v Hacken (SWE)
Budapest Honved (HUN)/Zalgiris Vilnius (LTU) v Sabail (AZE)/Universitatea Craiova (ROU)
Alashkert (ARM)/Makedonija Skopje (MKD) v FCSB (ROU)/Milsami Orhei (MDA)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk (BLR)/Hibernians (MLT) v Esbjerg (DEN)
Lokomotiv Plovdiv (BUL) v Radnik Bijeljina (BIH)/Spartak Trnava (SVK)
Connah’s Quay (WAL)/Kilmarnock (SCO) v Partizan (SRB)


Second qualifying round Champions Path – 25 July & 1 August (Seeded teams in bold)

Group 1

SP Tre Penne (SMR)/FC Santa Coloma (AND) v Sūduva (LTU)/Crvena zvezda (SRB)
BATE Borisov (BLR)/Piast Gliwice (POL) v Dundalk (IRL)/Riga FC (LVA)
Partizani (ALB)/Qarabag (AZE) v Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)/Saburtalo (GEO)

Group 2

Ararat Armenia(ARM)/AIK (SWE) v Feronikeli (KOS)/Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)
Valur Reykjavik (ISL)/Maribor (SVN) v Ferencvaros (HUN)/Ludogorets (BUL)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)/Sutjeska (MNE) v The New Saints (WAL)/Winners of the preliminary round

Group 3

Losing finalist, preliminary round v Astana (KAZ)/CFR Cluj (ROU)
HJK Helsinki (FIN)/HB Torshavn (FRO) v Linfield (NIR)/Rosenborg (NOR)
Nomme Kalju (EST)/Shkendija (MKD) v F91 Dudelange (LUX)/Valletta (MLT)

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

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Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

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Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.