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City drawn against Steaua in CL play-off

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been putting on rigorous training sessions. PHOTO/DM.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been putting on rigorous training sessions. PHOTO/DM.

PARIS, France, Aug 5- Manchester City will face Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League play-off round in Pep Guardiola’s European debut in charge of his new club, and the Spaniard will be hoping to progress into the main tournament as he sets his eyes on the title he won twice with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.

City avoided potentially tricky ties against Roma and Monaco and will now battle the Romanian side – who finished second in their division last season.

Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain reacted to the draw, saying: ‘It’s going to be a difficult tie because Steaua are on the up again in Europe and have a lot of talent.’

Steaua coach Laurentiu Reghecampf also gave his views on the tie, lamenting: ‘I wanted any team but City. We will have a positive approach and let’s see what will be. We have a chance and for sure our players will have extra motivation.’

Victory for City will see them go into the draw for the group stage which takes place on August 25, alongside the likes of Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham who have already qualified.

In the other side of Friday’s draw, Celtic were handed a tie against Israeli champions Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

Brendan Rodgers’ side overcame Kazakh team Astana in the third qualifying round, thanks to goals from Leigh Griffiths and new signing from Moussa Dembele.

Dundalk are aiming to become the first team from the Republic of Ireland to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League and will face Legia Warsaw of Poland.

The Lilywhites produced a shock victory over BATE Borisov to secure a shot at reaching Europe’s elite club competition.

Dundalk, who currently lead the League of Ireland, were the team with lowest coefficient rating in the draw and will play their home leg at the 51,700-seater Aviva Stadium in Dublin, rather than at the 4,500-capacity Oriel Park.

Full fixtures

FC Ludogorets vs Viktoria Plzen

Celtic vs Hapoel Beer-Sheva

FC Copenhagen vs Apoel FC

Dundalk FC vs Legia Warsaw

GNK Dinamo Zagreb vs FC Salzburg

Steaua Bucharest vs Manchester City

FC Porto vs AS Roma

Ajax vs FC Rostov

BSC Young Boys vs Borussia Monchengladbach

Villarreal CF vs AS Monaco

-By DailyMail

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