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Europa League Tie Of The Second Qualifying Round (Kris' Pick) - FK Tauras Taurage vs ADO Den Haag

Slovenian international Aleksandar Radosavljevic will need to make an impact if ADO Den Haag are to make any noise in the Europa League (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Slovenian international Aleksandar Radosavljevic will need to make an impact if ADO Den Haag are to make any noise in the Europa League (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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(Kris is away on holiday this week. He sent me his pick of the match of the second round of Europa League qualifying just before he left but, blasphemy upon all blasphemies, he was strapped for time and unable to make his pick'em choices for the round. I'll give him a free pass, just this once. Here is his breakdown of the match-up between the Netherlands' ADO Den Haag and Lithuania's FK Tauras.)

With the first round now ancient history, a certain amount of quality and experience does begin to enter the foray of second-tier European football and it's perhaps befitting that the first Dutch side to compete in 2010/11's Europa League is that of Martin Jol's first senior managerial post, ADO Den Haag. At the time, our current gaffer led his respective Den Haag team to the highest Amateur League and it's testament to how much he achieved there that Den Haag now ply their proverbial trade in the Netherlands' best division, the Eredvisie. 

Den Haag, now managed by the Dutchman Maurice Steijn, will have to travel for their opening leg, however, and their destination is a place Fulham will know particularly well. Lithuania, also home to Fulham's Europa League opponents just over two years ago, FK Vetra, is where Steijn's side will be travelling to, where they will face FK Tauras, whom finished fourth in Lithuania's senior division last season. They're a side renowned for changing their name rather than their footballing prowess, the latest switch in titles coming in 2008, from Tauras ERRA to plain Tauras. Such strange manoeuvres have had no effect on their European game, unfortunately, with little success coming to fruition over the intervening years. A 2010 defeat of Llanelli AFC of Wales was perhaps their finest moment of late, but they were defeated in the second qualifying round before ever reaching the tournament proper. 

In contrast, ADO Den Haag have a far more illustrious past, albeit outside of the European limelight. Having been established in 1905, their history has fluctuated aggressively but they can now be considered as one of Holland's more established sides. Martin Jol, current Fulham manager, could be considered to have brought a sharp upturn in form to the club which is situated within the city of The Hague. They have two Dutch National Football Titles to their name, but no Eredvisies to boast, and their European pedigree is underwhelming at best, but it'd be foolish to undermine what could be a dark horse in this years extensive competition. They achieved a seventh placed finish last year and have built a side upon solid foundations and traditions. FK Tauras should provide a stern but passable test for the Dutch side.

Aggregate Score Prediction: FK Tauras 1 - 3 ADO Den Haag