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Man United to face Bruges in Champions League playoffs

Manchester United to face Bruges in playoff to reach Champions League group stage

Man United to face Bruges in Champions League playoffs

NYON, Switzerland (AP) -- Manchester United must beat Bruges in a playoff to advance to the Champions League group stage after a one-year absence.

Two-time finalist Valencia was paired with Monaco, a quarterfinalist last season, in the playoff round draw on Friday.

Lazio will face Bayer Leverkusen, and Sporting Lisbon was paired with CSKA Moscow.

Rapid Vienna, the lowest-ranked team among the non-champions in the draw, is at home first against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Among 10 pairings drawn, it was Celtic vs. Malmo, Basel vs. Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and debutant Astana vs. APOEL.

The draw was completed with Skenderbeu vs. Dinamo Zagreb, and BATE Borisov vs. Partizan.

First-leg matches are played on Aug. 18-19, and return matches on Aug. 25-26.

Ten winners advance to the 32-team group-stage draw on Aug. 27 in Monaco.

United returns to Europe's top club competition after a one-year absence, which was its first since 1995-96.

The reward for advancing is a 12 million euros ($13.1 million) prize money bonus from UEFA for being in the group stage, plus 2 million euros for winning the playoff.

UEFA has increased Champions League prize money by 33 percent this season, and will share more than 1.2 billion euros among the 32 group-stage clubs.

Playoff losers this month are compensated with 3 million euros and a place in the Europa League groups, which guarantees a 2.4 million euros bonus.

Updated : 2021-09-20 19:17 GMT+08:00