Motherwell given Viktoria Plzen EL incentive

Last updated : 18 September 2020 By Derek Wilson

Motherwell will take on Viktoria Plzen or SoenderjyskE at home on October 1 for a place in the Europa League group stage should victory be secured in next Thursday's third qualifying round.

The draw for the play-off round was made Friday at UEFA headquarters and gave us a potential Fir Park contest against either Plzen of the Czech Republic or Danish Cup winners SoenderjyskE. 

Plzen are the seeded team in their Q3 tie having won five national titles in the last 10 years with four more runners-up spots. They are regulars in the group phases of European competition though their recent results have been modest.

A turnaround will be expected when they enter this year's tournament at home to the Danes.

SoenderjyskE are in Europe for only the second time having reached the Europa League play-off in 2017. They too have not yet played in this season's competition.

Motherwell have reached this stage courtesy of two wins over Northern Irish opposition. Glentoran were eventually seen off 5-1 at home while Coleraine fought back to draw 2-2 before succumbing on penalties.

But before manager Stephen Robinson turns his attention to the formidable challenge of X or Y, we must first overcome Hapoel Be'er Sheva of Israel away from home.

While they Israelis are not the most glamorous name in the draw, they have twice come close to reaching the Champions League in recent years and in 2017 made it to the last 32 of the Europa League.

They emerged from their group that year with two victories over three-time continental champions Inter Milan and a pair of draws with Southampton.

Motherwell can only dream of having  their European pedigree but though clear second favourites can take heart from Albanians Lac almost shocking Hapoel in Q2 before losing to two injury-time goals.

 'Well in Europe