Denmark's league champions FC Copenhagen are to play against Swedish side Malmö FF in the UEFA Europa League after Friday’s draw brought about an unusual meeting between the two geographically-close clubs.
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) August 30, 2019
Although the two cities are only around 45 kilometres apart and a train journey between them takes no more than half an hour, their biggest football clubs (sorry, Brøndby fans) rarely play against each other, since they each compete in their national leagues.
FC Copenhagen play in Denmark’s Superliga, while Malmö are in Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top division.
But their qualification for the same European competition this season has resulted in an unusual competitive fixture between the two.
The two clubs will play each other twice, with one game taking place in Malmö and the other in Copenhagen.
Sports reporter Alexandra Jonson pointed out on social media that, for Malmö, the match in Copenhagen will be closer than any of the club’s away fixtures in the Swedish league.
Fun fact. Malmö will play a Europa League away match that is closer than any of their away matches in the Swedish league.
Distance between the Malmö and København stadiums is 43 km.
Distance between the Malmö and Helsingborg stadiums is 73km.
— Alexandra Jonson (@AlexandraJonson) August 30, 2019
Ukrainians Dynamo Kyiv and Lugano of Switzerland complete the Europa League’s Group B, and will therefore also visit both Denmark and Sweden. Exact fixture details are yet to be confirmed.
FC Copenhagen manager Ståle Solbakken said he expected a special atmosphere at the matches between the neighbouring Scandinavian sides.
“Malmö will be like playing a derby with lots of intensity and duels. It will certainly be a match with a lot of attention from local fans and media and we are looking forward to meeting our neighbour in a match with points at stake,” Solbakken told TV2 Sport.