92 teams will partake in the second round of qualifying, with the winners of those games advancing to the third round stage, prior to the Europa League play-offs on October 1
By Joe Tanner
Last Updated: 31/08/20 2:16pm
Tottenham will face Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Rangers will come up against Lincoln Red Imps in the second round of UEFA Europa League qualifying.
Jose Mourinho’s side enter their Europa League qualifying campaign after finishing sixth in the Premier League last term and will travel to Bulgarian side Plovdiv on September 17 – days after facing Everton at home in their opening top-flight game of the new season on September 13.
Tottenham were knocked out of the Champions League last season by RB Leipzig at the round-of-16 stage, and have been preparing well for the start of their Europa League and Premier League 2020/21 seasons with wins in friendlies over Birmingham, Reading and Ipswich.
The north London club were forced into the Europa League after Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final to reach the Europa League group stages, which Leicester City have also qualified for after a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League last term.
Plovdiv, who finished second in the Bulagrian top flight behind Ludogorets to qualify for the Europa League’s preliminary rounds, disposed of Montenegrin team Iskra Danilovgrad to progress to their test against Tottenham.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, who were knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen in last season’s Europa League at the round-of-16 stage, will play Gibraltaran side Lincoln away in mid-September.
The Ibrox club, top of the division and undefeated so far in the Scottish Premiership this season, face Lincoln either side of league games against Dundee United (September 12) and Hibernian (September 20).
Fellow Scottish Premiership sides Aberdeen and Motherwell, who progressed through the first round of qualifying on August 28, come up against Norwiegan team Viking Stavanger and Northern Ireland’s Coleraine respectively.
Coleraine face Motherwell after earning a dramatic penalty shootout win over 15-time Slovenian champions Maribor in the previous round.
Linfield have been drawn against Floriana from Malta, while Irish top-flight team Shamrock Rovers have a mouth-watering home clash with Serie A giants AC Milan.
Celtic have also dropped into the third round of Europa League qualifying after defeat against Ferencvaros condemned them to an early exit from the Champions League preliminary rounds.
Welsh minnows Bala Town reached the second qualifying stage for the first time in their history following a 1-0 victory away at Maltese side Valletta in the previous round, and now face an exciting home tie versus Standard Liege.
Bala’s Cymru Premier counterparts The New Saints will play Faroese team Torshavn and Connah’s Quay Nomads will come up against Georgian outfit Dinamo Tbilisi.
Europa League – format and key dates
92 teams will partake in the second round of qualifying, with the winners of those games advancing to the third qualifying stage, prior to the play-off round of fixtures which are due to take place on October 1.
The single-legged ties – which will go to extra-time and penalties if needed – will take place on September 17, with all the European clashes being played behind closed doors.
September 17: Second qualifying round
September 24: Third qualifying round
October 1: Play-offs
October 22: Group stage matchday 1
October 29: Group stage matchday 2
November 5: Group stage matchday 3
November 26: Group stage matchday 4
December 3: Group stage matchday 5
December 10: Group stage matchday 6
February 18 & 25, 2021: Round of 32
March 11 & 18, 2021: Round of 16
April 8 & 15, 2021: Quarter-finals
April 29 & May 6, 2021: Semi-finals
May 26: Final (Gdansk, Poland)