Rubin to battle Lyon for Champions League group stage

Russia’s Rubin Kazan will square up to French side Olympique Lyonnais in the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League, with the winner securing a place in the group stages.

­The draw, which consisted of ten clubs in each of the champions and league routes, took place in the European football governing body’s headquarter in Nyon, Switzerland.

Rubin’s coach Kurban Berdyev confessed he wanted to face Arsenal in the playoffs, but the Russian Premier League bronze medalists are to be tested by the seven-times French League 1 champions instead.  

Meanwhile, Andrey Arshavin and his Gunners were drawn against Italy’s Udinese in what promises to be one of the most entertaining clashes of the round.   
The ties are to take place on August 16 or 17 and conclude a week later with the winners joining the 22 automatic entrants in the group stage.

UEFA Champions League playoff draw:

Champions route

Wisła Kraków (POL) v APOEL FC (CYP)
Macabi Haifa FC (ISR) v KRC Genk (BEL)
NK Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v Malmö FF (SWE)
FC København (DEN) v FC Viktoria Plzeň (CZE)
FC BATE Borisov (BLR) v SK Sturm Graz (AUT)

League route

Odense BK (DEN) v Villarreal CF (ESP)
FC Twente (NED) v SL Benfica (POR)
Arsenal FC (ENG) v Udinese Calcio (ITA)
FC Bayern München (GER) v FC Zürich (SUI)
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) v FC Rubin Kazan (RUS)

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