Balotelli returns home as Nice faces Napoli in UCL playoffs

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 04, 2017 08:03 PM
Balotelli returns home as Nice faces Napoli in UCL playoffs
FILE - This is a Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 file photo of Nice's forward Mario Balotelli, as he controls the ball challenged by Lyon's French midfielder Maxime Gonalons, right, during the League One soccer match between Nice and Lyon, in Nice stadium, southeastern France. Mario Balotelli will return home to Italy in the pick of the UEFA Champions League play-offs ties after his Nice side drew Napoli on Friday Aug. 4, 2017. The team's with compete in final qualification round before the competitionís group stage. (AP Photo/Claude Paris/File)

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Mario Balotelli will return home to Italy in the pick of the UEFA Champions League playoffs after his Nice side drew Napoli in the final qualification round before the competition's group stage.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will also see familiar surroundings as his side faces Hoffenheim, while Sevilla, which reached last season's round of 16, takes on Champions League newcomers Istanbul Basakeshir of Turkey.

Astana of Kazakhstan will have the opportunity to avenge last season's defeat to Celtic at the same stage.

Also, Azerbaijan champion Qarabag faces Copenhagen, Apoel Nicosia take on Slavia Prague and Young Boys is up against CSKA Moscow.

The remaining ties see Olympiakos matched with Croatian side HNK Rijeka, Hapoel Beer Sheva against Maribor and Sporting Lisbon with Steaua Bucharest.

The ties will be played over two legs with the first taking place on Aug. 15th and 16th and the second a week later.

(First-leg matches, Aug. 15-16; Second-leg matches, Aug. 22-23)

Champions route:

Qarabag (Azerbaijan) vs. Copenhagen (Denmark)

Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus) vs. Slavia Prague (Czech Republic)

Olympiakos (Greece) vs. HNK Rijeka (Croatia)

Celtic (Scotland) vs. Astana (Kazakhstan)

League route:

Istanbul Basaksehir (Turkey) vs. Sevilla (Spain)

Young Boys (Switzerland) vs. CSKA Moscow (Russia)

Napoli (Italy) vs. Nice (France)

Hoffenheim (Germany) vs. Liverpool (England)

Sporting Lisbon (Portugal) vs. Steaua Bucharest (Romania)

Latest News