Kosovo trip in prospect for Rangers

Rangers could face a daunting trip to Kosovo as they begin their Europa League quest.

Steven Gerrard’s side have landed either FC Prishtina – who finished second in the Kosovo Superliga last term – or St Joseph’s of Gibraltar in the first qualifying round.

The teams meet over two legs on June 27 and July 4 to decide who will take on the Light Blues.

The Glasgow giants are provisionally scheduled to travel away from home for the first leg on July 11, with the Ibrox return pencilled in for July 18.

If Prishtina make it through, it will mean a 3,500-mile round-trip to the Balkan state for starters as Gerrard looks to repeat last season’s feat, where his team overcame four qualifying rounds to make the group stages.

However, Kilmarnock will be making a mere 500-mile journey to Wales and back for their first European clash since 2002 after being paired with Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Aberdeen will kick off their fifth straight Europa League campaign at Pittodrie after being drawn against Finnish outfit RoPS Rovaniemi.

Northern Ireland’s Ballymena will take on Malmo of Sweden if they can see their way past NSI Runavík of Iceland in the preliminary round.

Compatriots Crusaders face B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands, while Cliftonville and Welsh side Barry Town will fight it out for the chance to take on FK Haugesund of Norway when they also meet in the preliminary round.

Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers have also landed a trip to Norway after being paired with Brann while Cork City take on either Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn – who caused a major upset when they dumped Gers out of the competition two years ago – or Cardiff University.

Dubliners St Patrick’s Athletic are due to meet Sweden’s IFK Norrkoping.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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