Everton drawn against Hajduk Split in Europa League play-off round

Everton will take on Croatian side Hajduk Split in the play-off round of qualifying for the Europa League.

Long process for Hajduk

Ronald Koeman’s side were able to progress in the competition following their 2-0 aggregate win over Slovakian side, MFK Ruzomberok.

They will now face Hajduk Split for a spot in the Europa League group stages.

The Whites saw off Denmark’s Brondby to progress to this stage. The first leg ended goalless but Hajduk were much more clinical in the second leg as two second half goals from Ante Erceg helped see Joan Carrillo’s side through.

In addition to their third round qualifying win over Brondby, Hajduk have also already seen off Levski Sofia.

Koeman’s side will host the first leg on August 17th with the return leg taking place at Stadion Poljud on August 24th.

Between the two legs, Everton will travel to Manchester City on August 21st before taking on Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge following their trip to Croatia on August 27th.

A closer look at Hajduk Split

Hajduk Split finished third last season in the MAXtv Prva Liga, 17 points behind second placed Dinamo Zagreb and 19 points behind eventual champions Rijeka.

Manager Joan Carrillo has won 10 games out of a possible 19 during his spell in charge.

The last time Hajduk Split played English opposition in Europe was against Stoke City in 2011/12, where they were knocked out 2-0 on aggregate, losing both legs 1-0.

Hajduk have played against English opposition seven times in their history and have been knocked out on every occasion.

Ronald Koeman’s men will look to extend that streak and continue their progress in the Europa League into the group stage.

The Croatian side, on the other hand, have been in the Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup, for the past 11 seasons but have only been able to reach the group stage once.

The danger man will be striker Markos Futacs, who previously had spells at Portsmouth, Leicester City and Blackpool. He was the Croatian First League’s top scorer last season with 18 goals but has only registered one goal this season.​

Should the Blues progress

The draw for the group stage will be held on August 25th, a day after the second leg in Split, Croatia.

If Everton progress past Hajduk, they would be in either pot two or pot three for the group stage, depending on which sides make it through with them.

Fixtures for the group stage begin on September 14th.