British teams got relatively easy draws in the UEFA Cup second qualifying round as Aston Villa will face Iceland’s Hafnarfjordur, while Manchester City and Queen of the South take on Danish clubs. Mark Hughes’s Manchester City side will take on Danish side FC Midtjylland while Queen of the South will play Nordsjalland. The two-legged second qualifying round ties will be played on August 14 and 28. All three British teams should be favored to win and move into the next round.
The pick of the other matches include SSC Napoli, the only previous UEFA Cup winners involved at this stage, against Albanian outfit KS Vllaznia. Also, Stuttgart play Hungarian side Győri ETO FC and Turkish giants Beşiktaş JK take on NK Široki Brijeg. A familiar presence in the UEFA Champions League in recent seasons, Rosenborg BK will not have to travel far to tackle Swedish side Djurgårdens IF FF, and neither will AEK Athens FC as they meet Cypriot side AC Omonia.
The winners of these games will go into the hat for the first round proper to be drawn on August 29th. In that hat will be seven-time European champions AC Milan, who are firm favorites to win their first UEFA Cup, and the 16 sides eliminated in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
UEFA Cup Second Round Matches
SOUTHERN GROUP ONE: Besiktas v Siroki Brijeg; Braga v NK Zrinjski; Lokomotiv Sofia v Borac; FK Vojvodina v Hapoel Tel-Aviv; Aris Thessaloniki v Slaven Koprivnica.
SOUTHERN GROUP TWO; Litex Lovech v Hapoel Shmona; Deportivo La Coruna v Hajduk Split; APOEL v Red Star Belgrade; Vllaznia v Napoli; Maccabi Netanya v Cherno More Varna; Omonia v AEK Athens.
CENTRAL-EAST – GROUP ONE: Liepajas Metalurgs v Vaslui; FC Zurich v Sturm Graz; Stuttgart v Gyori ETO; Lech Poznan v Grasshoppers; Slovan Liberec v MSK Zilina.
CENTRAL-EAST – GROUP TWO: FC WIT v Austria Vienna; Young Boys Bern v Debrecen; Legia Warsaw v FC Moscow; Dnipro v Bellinzona; Ljubljana v Hertha Berlin; Suduva v Salzburg.
NORTHERN – GROUP ONE: Djurgarden v Rosenborg; Queen of the South v Nordsjaelland; Gent v Kalmar; Manchester City v Midtjylland; Honka Espoo v Viking.
NORTHERN – GROUP TWO: FC Haka v Brondby; Stabaek v Rennes; FC Copenhagen v Lillestrom; Elfsborg v Saint Patrick; Aston Villa v Hafnarfjordur.
The two-legged second qualifying round ties will be played on August 14 and 28.