Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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It's Cliftonville for real in the Europa League

SATURDAY'S friendly visitors Cliftonville will be The New Saints' opponents in the first qualifying round of the Europa League.


The Reds from north Belfast ran out 2-1 winners in a warm-up meeting at Park Hall but the next meeting between the sides will be for real.
Both sides play their home games on 3G artificial surfaces, so Tommy Breslin's side won't fear their second visit to Oswestry, and both met CSKA Sofia in last season's competition.
The men from Northern Ireland lost 5-1 on aggregate to the Bulgarians in the third qualifying round, with the Saints losing 5-2 to the same opponents in the next stage - and both sides lodged unsuccessful protests over the eligibility of Sofia's international midfielder Spas Delev.
Cliftonville's Solitude home, which once staged internationals, is now restricted to a capacity of just over 2,000.
Dates for the ties are still to be confirmed.
Photo: Craig Jones takes on Cliftonville on Saturday.

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