Ex-Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday ace to begin Champions League campaign

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A revamped Champions League format has been introduced ahead of the 2024/25 season and one former Newcastle United player will enter at the first-round.

Former Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons will enter the Champions League first qualifying round with Slovenian side NK Celje this evening. Aarons moved to NK Celje in January after spending a number of months as a free agent following his release by Huddersfield Town.

The former Magpies winger will face-off against Estonian side Flora Tallinn in the first leg of their first qualifying round match with the second leg due to take place in Slovenia on Tuesday 16 July. The winner of that tie will face either Slovakian side SK Slovan Bratislava  or North Macedonian outfit FC Struga in the next round.

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Aarons has made just a handful of appearances for his new club and will be hopeful of helping them progress in the qualifying rounds and potentially seal them a lucrative draw against a big European name if they can make it through these early qualifying rounds. 

During his time at Newcastle United, Aarons scored four goals in all competitions, including memorably against Manchester City in what remains as their only win at the Etihad Stadium and during their 5-1 hammering of Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the 2015/16 Premier League season. After playing in the Champions League last season, the Magpies missed out on European competition all together following a 7th place Premier League finish and Manchester United’s triumph in the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

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