PARIS: Wayne Rooney could play the first competitive match of his Everton return against either Slovakia’s Ruzomberok or Brann of Norway, after the draw for the Europa League third qualifying round on Friday.
Rooney scored with a fantastic 30-yard strike in a 2-1 win in his first game back in an Everton shirt against Kenyans Gor Mahia in a pre-season friendly on Thursday.
Norwegian runners-up Brann, who lead the second qualifying round tie against Ruzomberok 1-0, are 16 games into their domestic league season, and would travel to Goodison Park for the first leg on July 27 in full swing if they go through.
Everton beat Brann 8-1 on aggregate in the last 32 of the 2007-2008 UEFA Cup in their only previous meetings.
Should Ronald Koeman’s side emerge victorious from the two-legged tie, they would go into a play-off for the group stages.
AC Milan are also in the qualifiers and were drawn agaimst CSU Craiova of Romania.
Europa League third qualifying round draw
PSV Eindhoven (NED) v Osijek (CRO) or Lucern (SUI)
Norrkoping (SWE) or Trakai (LTU) v Shkendija (MKD) or Helsinki (FIN)
Krasnodar (RUS) v Slovan Bratislava (SVK) or Lyngby (DEN)
Sturm Graz (AUT) or Mladost Podgorica (MNE) - Fenerbahce (TUR)
Panathinaikos (GRE) v Gabala (AZE) or Jagiellonia Bialystok (POL)
Shamrock Rovers (IRL) or Mlada Boleslav (CZE) v Kairat Almaty (KAZ) or Skenderbeu (ALB)
Austria Vienna (AUT) v Progres Niederkorn (LUX) or AEL Limassol (CYP)
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v Vaduz (LIE) or Odd (NOR)
Dinamo Bucarest (ROU) v Athletic Bilbao (ESP)
Olimpik Donetsk (UKR) v PAOK (GRE)
Arka Gdynia (POL) v Ferencvaros (HUN) or Midtjylland (DEN)
Ostersunds (SWE) or Galatasaray (TUR) v Inter Baki (AZE) or Fola Esch (LUX)
Bordeaux (FRA) v Nomme Kalju (EST) or Videoton (HUN)
Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) or KR Reykjavik (ISL) v Panionios (GRE) or Gorica (SLO)
Valletta (MLT) or Utrecht (NED) v Haugesund (NOR) or Lech Poznan (POL)
CSU Craiova (ROM) v AC Milan (ITA)
Brondby (DEN) or VPS Vaasa (FIN) - Hajduk Split (CRO) or Levski Sofia (BUL)
Gent (BEL) v Altach (AUT) or Dinamo Brest (BLR)
Astra Giurgiu (ROM) or Zire (AZE) v Olexandriya (UKR)
Everton (ENG) v Ruzomberok (SVK) or Brann (NOR)
Aberdeen (SCO) or Siroki Brijeg (BIH) v Apollon Limassol (CYP) or Zaria Balti (MDA)
Irtysh Pavlodar (KAZ) or Red Star Belgrade (SRB) v Sparta Prague (CZE)
Beitar Jerusalem (ISR) or Botev Plovdiv (BUL) v Maritimo (POR)
Zenit Saint Petersburg (RUS) v Trencin (SVK) or Bnei Yehuda Tel-Aviv (ISR)
Marseille (FRA) v Oostende (BEL)
Freiburg (GER) v Valur Reykjavik (ISL) or Domzale (SLO)
Cork City (IRL) or AEK Larnaca (CYP) v Rabotnicki (MKD) or Dinamo Minsk (BLR)
Zeljeznicar (BIH) or AIK Stockholm (SWE) v Braga (POR)
Liepaja (LAT) or Suduva (LTU) v Sion (SUI)
Ties to be played on July 27 and August 3--AFP