Some Super Eagles stars are expected to play huge roles for their European clubs when they play in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
The European football governing body, UEFA on Friday (8 August) in Nyon, Switzerland, conducted draws for the play-offs fixtures for clubs seeking to qualify for the group stages of the prestigious competition.
Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama is likely to be in goal when his Ligue 1 side, Lille clash against Poortuguese giants, Porto while Efe Ambrose is expected to be back for Scottish champions, Celtic, in the return leg of their game against Maribor FC.
Celtic were reinstated into the qualification series after Legia Warsaw, their opponents in the previous qualifying rounds were disqualified for playing an ineligible player, Bartosz Bereszynski, despite a 6-1 deficit.
The reprieve meant that Bhoys were awarded all three points of both sides’ return leg qualifier.
Ambrose was red-carded in Celtic’s second leg game of the fixtures against Warsaw.
Standard Liege, with Nigerian-born Chuks Aneke who almost got his Super Eagles debut under former coach, Samson Siasia, whilst still an Arsenal FC player, as exclusively reported by Completesportsnigeria.com, must beat Russian Premier League runners-up Zenit if they are to reach the group stage for the first time since 2009-10.
Arsenal will face a tough trip to Turkey in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League play-offs after being drawn against Turkish side, Besiktas.
The Gunners have in their books the trio of Chuba Akpom, Semi Ajayi and John Iwobi who could all play a part if the London side win one leg of the qualifiers by a massive scoreline as manager Arsene Wenger bloods the youngsters into the first team gradually.
Arsenal are preparing for their 17th successive season in Europe’s elite club competition and will face the Superliga side for the first time in their history when they attempt to secure a place in the group stage.
In the other games to be played in the qualifiers, Rafael Benitez faces a trip back to Spain when his Napoli side face Athletic Bilbao.
Free-scoring Red Bull Salzburg will attempt to continue their progress in the competition against Malmo, the Austrian champions have already scored 16 goals in five competitive matches this season and came past Qarabag 3-2 in the third qualifying round.
Aalborg face APOEL and Slovan Bratislava take on BATE Borisov.
Steaua Bucharest, 1986 winners of the competition in its former guise as the European Cup, were drawn against Latvian champions Ludogorets.
The first legs will be played on the August 19 and 20, with the return matches hold a week later.
Champions League play-off draw in full:
Maribor v Celtic
Red Bull Salzburg v Malmo
Aalborg v APOEL
Steaua Bucharest v Ludogorets
Slovan Bratislava v BATE Borisov
Besiktas v Arsenal
Standard Liege v Zenit
Copenhagen v Bayer Leverkusen
Lille v Porto
Napoli v Athletic Bilbao